When an Italian competitor applied for a trademark registration of a wine label also showing an old man, the Spanish Vintae sprung into action. Another old man on a bottle would surely cause confusion.
Old man concept
On the 4th of November, the Opposition Division of the European Trademark Office EUIPO rejected Vintae’s claim. EUIPO first explained that trademark registration doesn’t protect “the concept of the old man” in itself, but it’s more about the similarity of the two images.
Sad vs good-humoured
And yes, of course, there is some similarity because both are images of old men, but that’s where the likeness ends. Particularly the men’s expressions and moods are different; a tired, old, even sad man, compared to a happy, contented, good-humoured fellow, according to EUIPO. There is no risk of confusion, the consumer will immediately see that it’s a different person.