Shoe Branding Europe BVBA v European Union Intellectual Property Office

European Union – Trade marks. The applicant company's action for annulment of the Second Board of the European Union Intellectual Property Office's decision was dismissed by the General Court of the European Union. The Board had correctly decided that given: (i) a certain degree of similarity between the applicant's figurative mark, consisting of two parallel stripes on a shoe, and the intervener company's (adidas AG) earlier EU figurative mark representing three parallel stripes on a shoe; (ii) the identity between the goods covered by those marks; and (iii) the high reputation of the earlier mark; there was a likelihood that the relevant public might establish a link between those marks and the use of the mark applied for could take unfair advantage of the reputation of the earlier mark, without that use being justified by due cause.

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