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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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FRIDAY, 8 MAY 2009
Use of MONT BLANC on cigarettes not harmful to MONTBLANC stationery products in Latvia

In March the Latvian Supreme Court Senate upheld a decision of the Riga District Court dismissing an opposition against the registration of the mark MONT BLANC by Polish company Zaklady Tytoniowe w Lubline SA. Zaklady sought registration for tobacco articles and cigarettes (Class 34) and Montblanc-Simplo GmbH opposed, arguing that (i) Zaklady's mark was identical or confusingly similar to the well-known trad emarks MONTBLANC and MONTBLANC THE ART OF WRITING and (ii) Zaklady had applied for the registration of its mark in bad faith in an attempt to take advantage of the reputation of the well-known MONTBLANC marks.

The Board of Appeals dismissed the opposition for lack of evidence of bad faith, but the Administrative District Court reversed the Board's decision. Zaklady then appealed successfully to the Riga District court, so Montblanc filed a cassation appeal before the Supreme Court Senate. That court conceded that the MONTBLANC marks were well known in Latvia, but observed that they were well-known only in relation to a "narrow and specific group of goods": stationery. Moreover, the trade mark MONTBLANC/MONT BLANC was used by many businesses in connection with goods as diverse as car roof racks under the trademark MONT BLANC. This being so, the average Latvian consumer of tobacco products would not be misled into thinking that Zaklady's goods originated from Montblanc (which in any event were not sold through the same trade channels). The court concluded that there was no reason to believe that use of MONT BLANC for tobacco products would cause damage to the reputation of the well-known MONTBLANC marks.

Source: note by Valentina Sergeyeva, Strahlberg & Partners, Riga, for World Trademark Review.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 11.38
Tags: Latvia, well known trade mark,
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