On January 18, 2017, the Spanish Supreme Court rejected the request of invalidity of Osborne's famous bull mark filed by Badtoro, as a response to Osborne's request to annul Badtoro's mark. The Court claimed that, as linked to Spain as the image of a bull may be, it is not the official symbol.
The Civil Division stated that the bull mark does not fall within any of the prohibitions listed by the Regulation (EU) 2015/2424 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2015 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 on the Community trade mark and Commission Regulation (EC) No 2868/95 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 on the Community trade mark, and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) No 2869/95 on the fees payable to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs). This is due to the fact that, although Spain is linked to bulls through its famous "running of the bulls" in Pamplona and bullfighting, which are considered a tradition and part of Spain's culture, this does not directly imply that – as stated by the appellant – the bull has become an icon for Spain and is therefore to be considered null of distinctiveness.
The Court also adds that what is to be considered cultural heritage in Spain is bullfighting, and not the bull itself.
Regarding the request for invalidity filed by Osborne against Badtoro, the Supreme Court did not find likelihood of confusion between the TORO and BADTORO marks, as the term "toro" does not have a high degree of distinctiveness, and the additional "bad" term gives way to a neologism, giving way to sufficient visual and aural differences between the signs.
You can find the complete decision in Spanish here.
Written by: The UAIPIT Team