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EUROPEAN PATENT AND TRADEMARK ATTORNEYS

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One out of every two consumers makes a mistake when buying and takes an imitation thinking that it is the original”, they denounce in Promarca, the Association of Manufacturers of Consumer Products leaders in food, beverages, drugstores, and perfumery.

The phenomenon, present in all sectors, is known as “copycat” and consists of the launch of products that selectively reproduce characteristics of the container, colors, shapes, etc., of the main brand to confuse consumers in their purchasing decisions. Its architects plan their strategy to avoid lawsuits by registering trademarks that are not always easy to oppose with the strict criteria of Trademark Law and its rigid visual, phonetic, and conceptual comparison.

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GULLÓN's case reached the General Court of the European Union, which rejected the appeal of the Spanish Gullón and prevented the registration of its TWINS cookies (Judgment of May 28, 2020, case T-677/18)

Protecting the "appearance" of a product is increasingly important to brands, as consumers look beyond typical names and logos and begin to identify products by their particular designs and identifiers. Faced with the dilemma between industrial designs and trademarks, it is advisable to opt for the latter, since protection can be renewed indefinitely and is not limited to 25 years. The strategy resides in protecting the overall appearance of the packaging and each of its distinctive elements by different registrations:

 Oreo European trademark  OREO SPANISH TRADEMARK

European Trademark Nr.8566176    Spanish Trademark Nr.2845539

The filing of multiple registrations will facilitate the means of defending the brand against those who maliciously combine the differentiating elements of packagings.

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