It used to be simple: an apple was just an apple. You had varieties as Elstar and Granny Smith. Now you see more and more the tendency of branded fruit. A variety gets a brand name. Like Pink Lady. Pink Lady is the brand name of the variety Cripps Pink.
Apple and Pear Australia Limited is the holder and protector of the rights of PINK LADY. Although this organisation defends its trademarks vigorously, not every action is successful, according to a recent case against arch rival Pink Lady America. These two companies seem to be involved worldwide in lawsuits.
In the European Union, Pink Lady America filed the trademark WILD PINK. Apple and Pear Australia Limited filed an opposition but this opposition was dismissed. And now in Appeal, this decision is confirmed.
The trademarks are similar only in the word PINK. According to Apple and Pear Australia Limited this word PINK is a very distinctive element. EUIPO does not agree with this finding. The variety name Cripps Pink also includes Pink. A variety name is a generic name par excellence. Moreover, more apples have a pink color, so this element PINK is descriptive. Since the trademarks have no other resemblance, the appeal is dismissed.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”