April 2018. Investment company CVC has scored a major victory. The Opposition Division of the European Trademark Office EUIPO recently rejected an application by Polish company Capital Partners to register the logo Capital Partners in the EU, saying it was too close to that of CVC Capital Partners.

Protection for generic words?

The case is unusual because EUIPO began by acknowledging that the words Capital and Partners are two generic English words which are frequently used in the financial world, before nevertheless concluding that a trademark infringement had been committed. This is because consumers could think Capital Partners is a ‘brand variation’ on CVC Capital Partners.

No shortage of Capital Partners

In our opinion CVC is in fact the only distinctive element in the trademark. It would have been more logical to withhold trademark protection from the generic words Capital Partners. What’s more, a trawl through Google shows there’s no shortage of ‘Capital Partners’ out there.