Il rideposito del marchio con minime varianti per gli stessi prodotti è in mala fede (ancora su “The Flower Thrower” di Bansky)

Nedim Malovic in IPKat ci notizia della decisione  Cancellation Division EUIPO CANCELLATION No C 47 807 (INVALIDITY)  21.12.2023, Full Colour Black Limited,  v. Pesta Control office ltd:

<<The above-mentioned circumstances surrounding the application for the contested mark, as well as the chronology of the subsequent events, indicate that the EUTM proprietor’s filing strategy was used with the intention to circumvent the obligation to prove genuine use of the mark. Such conduct cannot be considered as a legitimate business activity having a justifiable commercial logic but, on the contrary, is incompatible with the objectives pursued by the EUTMR and may be considered as an ‘abuse of law’ (by analogy, 07/07/2016, T-82/14, LUCEO, EU:T:2016:396, § 52, 22/07/2019, R 1849/2017-2, MONOPOLY, § 78).

While it is true that there is no requirement for an EUTM applicant to declare or to show its intent to use a mark at the moment of its filing, there is also no justification for protecting trade marks unless they are actually used on the market according to the genuine use requirements prescribed by relevant (national/EU) law. Therefore, registrations that are intended to prevent third parties from registering or using identical/similar rights for identical/similar goods and/or services in the future (in relation to all or some of the identified goods and/or services), without any honest commercial logic, may be an indicator of the applicant’s dishonest intention (29/09/2021, T-592/20, Agate / Agate, EU:T:2021:633, § 69) and therefore considered made in bad faith.

All of these circumstances imply that the intention of the EUTM proprietor was indeed to take advantage of the EU trade mark rules by artificially creating the situation where it would not have to prove genuine use of its mark for the contested goods and services which are identical to those covered by its previous, identical EUTM registration.

Taking into account all the factual circumstances relevant to the present case, it is concluded that the filing of the application of the contested EUTM, insofar as it includes the goods and services already covered by an earlier EUTM registration, namely those mentioned above, was made without any commercial logic and thus, in bad faith.

As to the remaining contested goods and services that are not strictly identical to those covered by the EUTM proprietor’s earlier marks, the Cancellation Division considers that bad faith has not been proven, so the request for a declaration of invalidity should be rejected also as far as it is based on this ground (by analogy, 18/05/2023, R 836/2022-4, Cayenne, § 69)>>.

Sono state invece rigettate altre ragioni di nullità (mancanza di distintività ed altri motivi di malafede).