Inga George takes on the RED BULL VERLEIHT FLÜÜÜGEL ruling of the General Court (judgment of 4 October 2018 – T-150/17). Inga shows that the key holding in RED BULL – energy drinks and alcoholic beverages are dissimilar goods – is in line with the Court’s previous case law, e.g. LINDENHOF (judgment of 15 February 2005 – T-296/02, holding that mineral water and sparkling wine are dissimilar) and MEZZOPANE (judgment of 18 June 2008 – T-175/06, holding that lemonade and sparkling wine are dissimilar). Inga also points out that the outcome in RED BULL might have been different if the Court had addressed the issue of whether the earlier marks RED BULL VERLEIHT FLÜÜÜGEL and VERLEIHT FLÜGEL deserved special protection pursuant to Art. 8(5) EUTMR.
Using the General Court’s recent ruling in PUMA (judgment of 26 September 2018 – T-62/16) as an example, Thies Bösling explains that a claim for trademark infringement may lie even where the goods under comparison are entirely dissimilar, provided that the earlier mark has acquired a reputation within the meaning of Art. 8(5) EUTMR. In the case at hand, the General Court held that the earlier sportswear mark PUMA may be protected against the use of a similar mark for machinery, even though the targeted parts of the public did not overlap.
Inga George, Keine Warenähnlichkeit zwischen Energy Drinks und alkoholischen Getränken – FLÜGEL (GRUR-Prax 2018, 493)
Thies Bösling, Ausnutzen der Unterscheidungskraft auch bei Warenunähnlichkeit – PUMA (GRUR-Prax 2018, 495)