F1 expires in Trademark Court of the European Union



The Court considers that the use of the distinctive F1 Aviation Air One infringe its brand.

The Provincial Court of Alicante, en funciones de Trademark Court of the European Union, ha confirmado la sentencia del Juzgado de lo Mercantil número 3 which it estimated demand Formula One Licensing B.V.. contra la mercantil Grupo One Air Aviación S.L. in Judgment 12 May 2016.

Formula One Licensing B.V. considered that the registration of the distinctive F1 AIR and its use in the classroom 41 Nice, comprising training services and organizing events (including those relating to driving sports car) era incompatible con su marca registradas F1, que goza de una notoriedad que permitiría a la demandada aprovecharse de su prestigio.

So he filed suit exercise of a action relative invalidity of registration at the SPTO national mark No 2945203 and an action for violation of national brand, also requesting the compensation for damages.

The judgment of the first instance declared that Formula One Licensing B.V.. (hereinafter FOL) holds an exclusive and preferential right on the Community trade mark F1, that the registration of the Spanish trade mark No 2945203 F1 AIR is invalid incompatible with the rights of the applicant and that the use by the Air Group One Aviation S.L.. (hereinafter GOAA) constituye una trademark infringement. En consecuencia condenó a GOAA a cesar el uso de la marca F1 Air, a retirar cualquier material con dicho signo, to compensate the applicant with the benefit obtained unlawfully since September 2010, with a minimum of 1% of the total turnover, payment of 600 euros per day that the violation continues and the costs of the proceedings.

GOAA filed appeal, alleging error in the assessment of evidence. Destacó las diferencias tanto gráficas como semánticas (F1 frente a Grupo One Air), that his understanding, do not give rise to confusion or association and therefore can lead to the invalidation of the registration or the trademark infringement.

For the Board, debe tenerse en cuenta que F1 es una marca renombrada y que por lo tanto, their legal treatment is different at from those that are not.

Although Article 4.4-a) Directive and Article 8.2 LM they refer only to cases in which a sign identical or similar to a well-known brand for products used are not similar to those used by it, la doctrina del TWENTY (Caso Davidoff STJUE de 9 January 2003) extends such protection: No es necesario que el riesgo de similitud genere un riesgo de confusión por parte del público. Simply to establish a link between the sign and the mark (STJUE 18 June 2009):

“El requisito específico para la protección consiste en un uso de un signo idéntico o similar a una marca registrada realizado sin justa causa y mediante el que se obtenga o se pretenda obtener una ventaja desleal del carácter distintivo o del renombre de esa marca o bien se cause un perjuicio a los mismos”

There unfair advantage (also called "parasitism" and "free-riding") cuando thanks to a transfer of the brand image or the characteristics which it projects to the goods designated by identical or similar sign, there is clear exploitation renowned brand.

Such use damages the brand reputation because the attractiveness of this is diminished especially when the third party products can have a negative influence on the brand image.

In these cases, the owner of the renowned brand does not have to justify the damage suffered it is sufficient that the third party takes unfair advantage of its popularity.

Article 8.1 of the Trademark Act prohibits registration of trademarks or similar to other notorious or famous signs when they can create a connection or use without due cause can apply an unfair advantage or detriment to the mark.

That link between the renowned brand and the back, It should be assessed having regard to all the circumstances.

In the car, el público de la marca F1 es un consumidor medio y el de la demandada es de un mayor estatus económico y con un conocimiento específico del sector aeronáutico y de los deportes de motor.

As for the services to which the marks are applied, hay una confluencia al ofrecer GOAA la conducción de vehículos de alta cilindrada.

As it regards the visual similarities, the Chamber considers that:

"There are common elements, approximative, similares y evocativos lo suficientemente relevantes como para concluir que entre ambos signos existe un vínculo suficiente para apreciar el presupuesto primero de la infracción, in sum, there is similarity between signs ".

Ultimately, the Chamber concludes that there is a "Unfair advantage of the reputation and prestige brands with F1″, to which so clearly intentional, se aproxima la demandada con su signo, to sell values, experiencias e información que se desprenden de la marca ajena. Therefore, the appeal is dismissed and the conviction is confirmed for trademark infringement.

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