Thursday, July 25, 2024

Nike loses copyright clash with Puma at EU court

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Nike of the US has lost the EU trademark rights to “footware” in a dispute over the use of a capitalised version of the word that pitched it against German sports gear rival Puma.

The EU’s General Court upheld Puma’s earlier victory at an EU trademark appeals panel, which voided a trademark application from Nike’s innovation unit for the label.

The spat follows a complaint by Puma, which, among other arguments, claimed that Nike’s use of the word could lead to an interpretation of it as a type of software or technology for the feet.

Puma said it is “delighted” with the ruling. 

The Bavaria-based firm said it “has been arguing for years that at least some consumers will read the term ‘footware’ as ‘footwear’ and, therefore, will only see the sign ‘footware’ as descriptive information regarding the intended purpose of the goods and services”. 

Nike, based in Oregon, can still appeal to the EU’s Court of Justice — the EU’s top court

Meanwhile, Société du Tour de France lost a trademark fight against a German gym chain when a court ruled people were unlikely to confuse the famed bicycle race Tour de France with a similar phrase for the gym’s clothes and services.

Société du Tour de France had taken its grievance to Europe’s second top court, after the European patent office Euipo allowed FitX to trademark a figurative sign “Tour de X” for its goods and services — including games, toys, and sporting equipment.

The French company holds the right to the expression “Tour de France” or “Le Tour De France” for its goods and services. 

The Luxembourg-based General Court sided with Euipo and dismissed Société du Tour de France’s challenge. The ruling can also be appealed on points of law. 

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