December 2019. The flag used by US fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger has an international reputation, the Opposition Division of European Trademark Office EUIPO affirmed in early December. The strength of this reputation was enough to enable the company to successfully stop the European registration of two Dolce Gusto logo’s.
High degree of recognition
EUIPO based its conclusion on the large volume of evidence submitted, which ‘unequivocally shows that the mark enjoys a high degree of recognition among the relevant public’.
Despite the fact that the logos concerned differ from Hilfiger’s through the addition of the words Dolce Gusto, EUIPO concluded that consumers would assume there was a link between them. It therefore concluded that the Dolce Gusto-logo’s would take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or the repute of the Hilfiger-mark and consequently denied it a registration for clothing, shoes, bags, watches, jewellery, glasses and other products.
The ruling is a clear warning to anyone thinking of trading on the reputation of the Tommy Hilfiger trademark. Even if a different word is added, it still constitutes an infringement. Tommy Hilfiger’s successful oppositions to the European Trademark Office were handled by Chiever.