August 2018. The Third Man Group has been refused EU registration for its logo, consisting of a black silhouette of a man’s head, because it infringes the trademark rights of Henkel, owner of the familiar Schwarzkopf brand.
Henkel’s logo (left) and, right, the unsuccessful Third Man logo
Henkel filed an opposition to the registration with European Trademark Office EUIPO. In early July, EUIPO found in favour of Henkel. Despite the fact that the Schwarzkopf logo is more detailed, the two heads, both of which are seen in left profile, nevertheless show a high degree of visual similarity, according to EUIPO. As a result, consumers viewing the two logos from a distance on a supermarket shelf could confuse them.
The Third Man Group uses its logo for a wide range of perfumes it markets throughout Europe, so the EUIPO ruling presents it with a ‘head’-ache.