This post contains spam! Oh no! Well, we have to “spam” you because the case is about the trademark SPAM. On one side SPAM for meat. You probably know this trademark (left). On the other side the defendants who are using the trademark SPAM for an energy drink.

Are these trademarks confusingly similar? No. The Dutch Court rules that the products are not similar, preventing a likelihood of confusion. The argument that these products can be consumed on the same moment is not accepted, this argument would also have strange equivalents like similarity between make-up and cars (as some women do their make-up while driving)! A bit exaggerated but you get the point.

Hormel, the opponent, claims also the reputation of the European trademark SPAM. The Court is not impressed. Yes, the trademark SPAM is well known in the UK but this does not automatically mean that the trademark is well known in every country in Europe. On the base of the case Pago the owner can apply on the extra protection of well-known marks, also in the Netherlands (where the trademark is not reputed), however, the court ruled that the requirements of this article were not met. The only fact that the trademark SPAM was mentioned in a Monty Python movie was not enough to proof that the mark was reputed (free-riding on a non-reputed trademark is not possible), moreover, the link between the trademarks was not present.


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Knijff Merkenadviseurs


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