In the range of distinctive trademarks Yakult is probably one of the most distinctive: the name is unusual and the trademark enjoys a large reputation.
It is therefore not surprising that this company wants to keep the trademark register free of other Yakult trademarks. Before you know it, Yakult’s trademark right is diluted and they can no longer act against Yakult brands for example for magazines, bags and other products for which Yakult has no trademark right.
Hence the objection to the European application YAKULT of a Chinese company for, among other things, baths and shower heads. Yakult filed an opposition based on their reputation. The EUIPO rejected the opposition at first as the consumer would not establish a link between the trademarks: the trademarks are used for such different products that this connection is unlikely to be made.
Yakult files an appeal. And with success because the Board of Appeal rejects the application YAKULT. The YAKULT trademark is, on the one hand, very distinctive, as a result of which the consumer makes a connection between the brands. Moreover, YAKULT has acquired such a reputation that it goes beyond the relevant public of the relevant goods or services.
A good decision, otherwise very well-known brands would have no weapon to act against dilution by other identical trademarks.
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“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”