Imaginary trademarks

A nice thesis: is an imaginary brand also a valid trademark?

Example, the Nimbus 2000, Harry Potters’ magic broomstick, the broomstick everybody wants to have! And in the movie Wall-E all local shops have been swallowed up in the almighty chain Buy ’n Large. Another famous example is Duff Beer, the beer of Duff Brewery of The Simpsons.

That these marks represent value, is indisputable. But are these trademarks automatically valid trademarks? In fact, the brands are not actually used for products but for fictional products.

Twentieth Century Fox wanted to remain on the safe side and has protected the trademark DUFF in the European Union. A good idea as a German brewer launched DUFF beer. This brewer filed DUFF in the European Union as a trademark as well against which Twentieth Century Fox filed an opposition. The German brewer now has started a cancellation action based on non-use against the trademark DUFF of  Twentieth Century Fox. thinks that this is a very interesting case and we will keep you informed!

In Australia, a judge already ruled in favor of Twentieth Century Fox ruling valid trade mark use and likelihood of confusion and free riding. In Belgium Twentieth Century Fox recently was less successful: no actual use and no convincing evidence that Twentieth Century Fox owns the copyrights.

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Arnaud Bos

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