On 20 September 2017, the General Court of the European Union found that, although there is a certain degree of similarity, the marks "TORO", "EL TORO" of Grupo Osborne and "BADTORO" of the Catalonian company Jordi Norgues are sufficiently different and can, therefore, coexist on the registry of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and on the market.
The proceedings date back to 2010, when Jordi Nogues filed an appeal against the EUIPO Decision refusing the registration of its "BADTORO" EUTM application given the similarity between Osborne's earlier "TORO" and "ELTORO" marks.
Osborne claimed that, given that they were present in the same sector and sold the same goods - such as clothing, footwear, hats and smoking articles – the similarity between the signs gave way to a likelihood of confusion. In 2013, the incident took place once again, but this time EUIPO partially upheld the opposition against the "BADTORO" mark.
However, the General Court yesterday considered EUIPO Boards of Appeals findings to be partially incorrect, and considered the marks to be overall dissimilar. The Court found that the bull device in the BADTORO mark to appear conjoined with the text and found the bull device in the application to appear more like a "mascot" or "humanized character", giving a total different overall impression to that of the realistic Osborne bull.
This decision cancelled the two previous EUIPO decisions, allowing "CADTORO" to be registered as a European trade mark.
Written by: The UAIPIT Team