PUMA’S reputation reaches its limit

Ip world
European Union Court - February 28, 2024
PubliƩ le 15 April 2024

PUMA attempted to oppose the European Union’s figurative mark BERTRAND PUMA, which covered goods in classes 7, 9 and 11 relating to the bakery industry.

The majority of the opposition was rejected by the European Office, except for class 9.

The case was brought before the Court of the European Union, which recently confirmed that there had been no infringement, despite PUMA’s exceptional reputation and the similarity between the signs.

The goods covered by the BERTRAND PUMA trademark are very specific and are aimed at a targeted audience of professionals, namely bakers. The Court therefore considered that even if the earlier PUMA sports trademark had a strong reputation, this could not be extended to such different products.

In our view, this is a sensible decision, as reputation is often assessed far too broadly by the European courts, allowing well-known trademarks to be used against signs that are sometimes very different.

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