Marcel Pemsel su IPKaT dà notizia della sconfitta amministrativa (per ora) di Testla sul marchio GIGABIER per birre.
E’ la decisione della divisione di opposizione OPPOSITION Nо B 3 162 062, Tesla c. Juicyphant GmbH, 20.09.2023.
La norma azionata dall’opponente Tesla è l’art. 8.4 reg. Ue 1001 del 2017, per cui:
<<4. In seguito all’opposizione del titolare di un marchio non registrato o di un altro segno utilizzato nella normale prassi commerciale e di portata non puramente locale, il marchio richiesto è escluso dalla registrazione se e in quanto, conformemente a una normativa dell’Unione o alla legislazione dello Stato membro che disciplina detto segno:
sono stati acquisiti diritti a detto contrassegno prima della data di presentazione della domanda di marchio UE, o della data di decorrenza del diritto di priorità invocato per presentare la domanda di marchio UE;
questo contrassegno dà al suo titolare il diritto di vietare l’uso di un marchio successivo.>>
così interpretato dall’ufficio:
<<Therefore, the grounds of refusal of Article 8(4) EUTMR are subject to the following requirements:
• the earlier sign must have been used in the course of trade of more than local significance prior to the filing of the contested trade mark;
• pursuant to the law governing it, prior to the filing of the contested trade mark, the opponent acquired rights to the sign on which the opposition is based, including the right to prohibit the use of a subsequent trade mark;
• the conditions under which the use of a subsequent trade mark may be prohibited are fulfilled in respect of the contested trade mark.
These conditions are cumulative. Therefore, where a sign does not satisfy one of those conditions, the opposition based on a non-registered trade mark or other signs used in the course of trade within the meaning of Article 8(4) EUTMR cannot succeed>>.
Tesla non riesce a dare questa prova.
Il ragionameno in diritto non è particolarmente interessante.
Lo è quello in fatto, anche se troppo detagliato per essere riporatto in toto.
Mi limito alla conclòusione:
<<The Opposition Division considers that the evidence does not provide a convincing picture of use of the opponent’s sign prior to the time of the filing of the contested trade mark, nor does it indicate that any such use could be considered as meeting the minimum threshold of ‘use in the course of trade of more than mere local significance’ in the relevant territories, as set out in Article 8(4) EUTMR. Moreover, the documents submitted do not provide any concrete indications as to the potential degree of recognition of the opponent’s sign by the public in the relevant territories at the relevant point in time.
Whether or not a trade sign is of more than mere local significance may be established by demonstrating the existence of a network of economically active branches throughout the relevant territory, but also more simply, for example, by producing invoices issued outside the region in which the proprietor has its principal place of business or press cuttings showing the degree of recognition on the part of the public of the sign relied on (24/03/2009, T-318/06 – T-321/06, General Optica, EU:T:2009:77, § 43). (……)
The opponent’s CEO merely stating that, at some point in the future, they intend to produce/offer a beer under the sign ‘GIGABIER’ does not constitute ‘prior use in the course of trade of more than mere local significance’, contrary to the opponent’s assertions.>>
<<Considered in the context of a half hour long speech, the opponent’s CEO only briefly referred to the relevant goods while an image of two empty bottles branded ‘Gigabier’ briefly appeared on the screens behind him. When considered with the other indicia in the evidence referred to above (as well as the weaknesses thereof, including the brevity of the interlude between the opponent’s announcement and the relevant date), it is clear that these Annexes only support the conclusion that the single use of the earlier sign prior to the relevant date is the opponent’s brief announcement at an event in Germany, attended by a maximum of 9,000 people, that a beer may possibly be launched in the future under that brand. The evidence also shows that this announcement attracted some comments on social media. However, the evidence does not show that this single announcement by the opponent during a brief event at the new factory plant in Brandenburg, one day prior to the filing of the contested application, was followed by or attracted the attention of a substantial part of the relevant public in Ireland and/or Denmark. Therefore, the opponent has clearly failed to prove that its use of the sign in the course of trade in Ireland and/or Denmark prior to the relevant date was of more than mere local significance in those territories.
This conclusion is not altered by the content, date or language of publication of the articles submitted as Annex 1, which make no mention of the relevant sign or goods, and instead only refer to the opponent’s plans for/construction of a car manufacturing plant.
The opponent has failed to prove that – at the relevant date – the public in the relevant territories were exposed to or were aware of any of the articles or social media posts submitted as evidence, or indeed of the opponent’s announcement itself. No evidence was submitted (such as invoices, price lists, turnover or sales figures, press clippings or actual advertising) demonstrating the opponent’s prior use of ‘GIGABIER’ for the relevant goods (much less attesting to any significance, duration or intensity thereof) as required under Article 8(4) EUTMR. In the same vein, none of the evidence submitted provides any true or reliable indications as to the relevant public’s degree of awareness of the opponent’s sign (if any) prior to the filing of the contested sign.
Any use, however minimal, which could potentially be established in relation to the claimed sign (for example, the social media posts showing two order confirmations of ‘GIGABIER’/Annex 13, which would in any case amount to only €89 and DKK 700 in terms of sales according to the prices of the products indicated in the 2023 blog excerpts/Annex 14) would only have occurred in 2023 (see Annexes 12-16), which is clearly well after the contested EUTM application’s filing date of 10/10/2021. Furthermore, there are no other indications in the evidence submitted that the opponent even referred to publicly (much less indeed made any actual relevant use of) the sign relied upon between their CEO’s mention of ‘GIGABIER’ in their speech on 09/10/2021 and their Twitter posts in 2023/Annexes 12-16. Indeed, the Danish blog excerpts and articles submitted as Annex 14, dating to 2023, refer to the ‘launch’ of ‘GIGABIER’ having occurred in 2023>>.