Starbucks to Proceed with Trademark Infringement Claim

by admin on January 19, 2018

The EU General Court has reinstated a four year old infringement complaint by Starbucks against a Belgian coffeehouse that has several similar features to the Starbucks logo. In 2013, the coffeehouse filed for an application of trademark registration with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Six months later, Starbucks had filed opposition against the application in regards to Article 46.

The trademark under opposition, similar to the Starbucks logo, would have a circular emblem with “Coffee Rocks” in bold letters like Starbucks and have a musical note in a similar place to where the mermaid is in the Starbucks logo.

A 2015 dismissal of the case by the EUPIO said that logos were conceptually similar, however, differed in their distinctive and dominant elements. A closing statement by the court regarded the logo as not even having a “low degree of similarity” with Starbucks.

Starbucks has appealed to the EU General Court challenging the notion of a “low degree of similarity”, saying that not only are the logos visually similar but phonetically as well. The court has terminated the decision from the Board of Appeal meaning Starbucks may proceed with its claim.

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