263 views

The repute of the Lacoste crocodile

The General Court of the European Union released on Wednesday, 30 September 2015, a statement on the judgment in Case T-364/13 and Jadwiga Eugenia Mocek Wenta Company Kajman andlowoUsługowoProdukcyjna/ OHIM.

As per the General Court of the European Union, the repute of the Lacoste crocodile is such as to prevent the registration of crocodile or caiman figures for leather goods, clothing and footwear.

Thus, in 2007, the Polish company Eugenia Mocek and Jadwiga Wenta KAJMAN Firma HandlowoUsługowo-Produkcyjna required the registration with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) of a crocodile figurative sign as a Community trade mark for various goods and services (in particular, bags, clothing and cushions for pets, footwear and real estate renting), while the French company Lacoste filed a notice of opposition to that application for registration, relying on an earlier owned Community trade mark.

As OHIM upheld Lacoste’s opposition in part by refusing to register the sign of Mocek and Wenta for leather goods, clothing and footwear, the latter applied to the General Court to have OHIM’s decision annulled.

However, through the judgment given on 30 September 2015, the Court upholds the refusal to register the sign of Mocek and Wenta for leather goods, clothing and footwear.

In order to take this judgement, the Court held that:

– conceptually, the signs at issue have at least an average degree of similarity, given that the figurative elements of each of those signs refer to the concept of a reptile of the order of crocodilians;

– as regards leather  bags, clothing and footwear, there is a likelihood of confusion between the two figures, given that the general public is likely to believe that the goods bearing the signs at issue come from the same undertaking or from economically-linked undertakings;

– the representation of the Mocek and Wenta caiman might be perceived as a version of the representation of the Lacoste crocodile, the latter being widely known to the public.

:: The Source: JURIDICE.ro

Adina Elena OPREA
Junior Lawyer

Related posts