Tidman in the CITMA Review – Entirely Justified

In September’s CITMA ReviewOliver Tidman comments on the EU General Court’s decision concerning MIP Metro Group’s (MIP) challenge to the Board of Appeal’s entitlement to take into account the enhanced distinctiveness of an earlier trade mark relied on by the opponent, Association française de normalisation (AFNOR).

MIP argued that the Board of Appeal had erred in finding that the component “NF” was the sole dominant component of the earlier mark, and had failed to take into account the word “environment”. MIP also disputed the enhanced distinctiveness found in AFNOR’s earlier mark.

Although the General Court found that AFNOR’s mark failed to have enhanced distinctiveness, the decision serves as a useful reminder that marks must be viewed and compared in their entirety, and that careful thought should be given to the local language(s) of the relevant public in different parts of the EU as required under the earlier rights relied on.

Read the full analysis on the CITMA website.

For further information or advice on protecting your business intellectual property, contact us.

Tidman Legal is a firm of business and intellectual property lawyers based in Edinburgh.