L’importanza del poter azionare un marchio di rinomanza, invece che ordinario

Marcel Pemsel su IPKat segnala Cancellation Division EUIPO n. C 57137 del 25 aprile 2024, Luis Vuitton c. Yang, come esempio dell’utilità pratica dell’optare per l’azione basata sulla rinomanza nei casi in cui è dubbio ricorrano i requisiti per quella sulla tutela ordinaria.

Non si può che convenirne. Ma quanto ha speso LV nei decenni per il suo marketing?

Marcbio depositato da Yang:

Abnteriuorità azionata da LV:

Ebbene, la domanda di annullamento è accolta sulla base della rinomanza.,

<<Therefore, taking into account and weighing up all the relevant factors of the present case, it must be concluded that, when encountering the contested mark, the relevant consumers will be likely to associate it with the earlier sign, that is to say, establish a mental ‘link’ between the signs. However, although a ‘link’ between the signs is a necessary condition for further assessing whether detriment or unfair advantage are likely, the existence of such a link is not sufficient, in itself, for a finding that there may be one of the forms of damage referred to in Article 8(5) EUTMR (26/09/2012, T‑301/09, CITIGATE / CITICORP et al., EU:T:2012:473, § 96)>>.

Poi sull’unfair advantgege: The Cancellation Division agrees with the applicant’s arguments. The contested sign will, through its similarity with the earlier reputed trade mark, attract more consumers to the EUTM proprietor’s goods and will therefore benefit from the reputation of the earlier trade mark. A substantial number of consumers may decide to turn to the EUTM proprietor’s goods due to the mental association with the applicant’s reputed mark, thus misappropriating its powers of attraction and advertising value. This may stimulate the sales of the EUTM proprietor’s goods to an extent that they may be disproportionately high in comparison with the size of the EUTM proprietor’s own promotional investment. It may lead to the unacceptable situation where the EUTM proprietor is allowed to take a ‘free-ride’ on the investment of the applicant in promoting and building up goodwill for the EUTM proprietor’s sign. This would give the EUTM proprietor a competitive advantage since its goods would benefit from the extra attractiveness they would gain from the association with the applicant’s earlier mark. The applicant’s leather goods are known for their traditional manufacturing methods, handcrafted from the highest quality raw materials. The earlier mark is identified with the image of luxury, glamour, exclusivity and quality of the products, and those characteristics can easily be transferred to the contested goods.

Manca del resto la due cause (difesa ai limiti della responsabilità aggravata, civilprocessualmente):

The EUTM proprietor claimed to have due cause for using the contested mark because (1) a search of trade mark registers with effect in the EU did not reveal any trade marks identical or similar to the contested sign; and (2) the name of the famous Italian Piazza Vittorio is the inspiration for the name ‘VITTORIO’. The applicant wanted to dedicate her brand to Italianism, to Rome and to the place where she lives with her family.

These EUTM proprietor arguments do not amount to ‘due cause’ within the meaning of Article 8(5) EUTMR. Due cause under Article 8(5) EUTMR means that, notwithstanding the detriment caused to, or unfair advantage taken of, the distinctive character or reputation of the earlier trade mark, registration and use by the EUTM proprietor of the mark for the contested goods may be justified if the EUTM proprietor cannot be reasonably required to abstain from using the contested mark, or if the EUTM proprietor has a specific right to use the mark for such goods that takes precedence over the earlier trade mark. In particular, the condition of due cause is not fulfilled merely by the fact that a search of trade mark registers having effect in the EU has not revealed any trade marks identical or similar to the contested sign. Nor can the fact that ‘VITTORIO’ coincides with the name of a square in Turin justify its use as part of the sign, which would take unfair advantage of the reputation built up through the efforts of the proprietor of the earlier mark.

Ci sono anche ragine considerazione in fatto suilla provba dell’uso di cu iè onerata LV ed art. 64 c.23 -3 EUTMR