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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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Switzerland: Red Bull slays Dancing Bull

The trade mark RED BULL was successfully used against the registration of DANCING BULL for alcoholic beverages by the Gallo Winery in Switzerland. Lateltin Lanz Ingold AG had opposed the registration based on a series of trade marks formed with the concept "colour + BULL". The "main" mark used in the opposition was a RED BULL mark registered for spirits and liquors. Yes, you read correctly - Lateltin Lanz Ingold AG was the opposing party and owner of the older Red Bull trade mark, not a company of the Red Bull group of companies. Why? Lateltin Lanz Ingold AG is the owner of the trade mark Red Bull for vodka, which (in some jurisdictions) predates the RED BULL energy drink marks.

The Administrative Court held (like the Swiss IPO in the first instance) that there was a risk of indirect (mittelbare) confusion between the marks because of their conceptual similarity.

I can't help but feel that for the first time, Red Bull must be quite pleased with Lateltin Lanz Ingold AG - taking care of keeping the register free of BULL marks, at no extra cost for Red Bull.

German summary of the case here.

Posted by: Mark Schweizer @ 09.47
Tags: switzerland, relative grounds for refusal,
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