The Spanish Supreme Court has held that there is no risk of confusion between the word trade mark “Toro” (owned by Osborne Group, S.A., the notorious beverage company) and the word trade mark “Badtoro” (owned by Jordi Nogués, S.L., and filed for goods and services in classes 25 and 35 – relating to clothing-). Firstly,…

A recent Supreme Court judgement in the Dalí case shows clear respect for trademarks but raises some questions regarding image. A great many brands have used in their advertising campaigns the images of people who, despite no longer being alive, continue to have considerable selling power. There are even marketing studies which show that advertising…

In a decision of 22 April 2016, the Spanish Supreme Court has clarified the circumstances in which the commercialization of original luxury products through Internet sale platforms outside a selective distribution system could be relied on by the trademark owner as precluding an exhaustion of the trademark rights. The plaintiffs, various companies of the L’Oréal…

The relevance of the graphic element in the comparison of figurative signs and the application of the “principle of continuity of registration”. In two different decisions, rendered within a fortnight of each other, the Spanish Supreme Court decided to accept the registration of the trademark “La Española” plus graphics but deny the registration of the…

 Judgment of the Supreme Court (First Chamber) no. 107/206 of 1 March 2016 The Spanish Supreme Court (SC) in a judgment of 1 March 2016, dismissed the cassation appeal filed by the “Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne” (joint trade association for Champagne) in respect of registration of the Spanish trademark “Champím” and use of…

The Spanish Supreme Court recently had to consider the likelihood of confusion between the representation of a lila mop registered as a two-dimensional trade mark and another party’s actual product, again, a lila mop. The signs at issue were the following:   Trademarks owned by the plaintiff Defendant’s use     The Court rejected the…

The Alicante Appellate Court has confirmed that the use of lists comparing fragrances to well-known perfume brands is illegal. Comparison lists compare smell-alike perfumes with the respective high-priced original perfume brand. These lists are distributed among retailers to inform customers of the “equivalence” between their fragrances and the well-known brand. Lately, retailers have been using…

In his opinion of 17 December 2015 (Case C-163/15) concerning the trade mark ARKTIS, Advocate General Wathelet proposes that recordal of the license is not a necessary condition for the licensee to be able to bring an infringement action based on a CTM. According to Article 23(1) CTMR, the transfer, rights in rem and licenses…

In two judgments rendered on 14 January 2016, the General Court confirmed OHIM’s refusal of stylized marks whose verbal elements were descriptive or non-distinctive. It is a coincidence that both decisions are only available in Spanish and French and both marks were in classes 9, 28, and 41. The cases are T-318/15 and T-663/14 and…

This article looks at whether advertisers and referencing service providers, such as Google or Bing, involved in keyword advertising can be held liable in Spain on grounds of trademark infringement on the basis of case-law from the past three years. In short, referencing services in general will not be liable, while advertisers, essentially, have to…