|So much paper for this shape|
|Note the opaque packaging|
'the contested mark has been used in almost the totality of the EU's territory, covering the market of fourteen of the fifteen Member States that formed the EU at the relevant point in time; that as a consequence of such use, it can be determined that almost 50 per cent of the general public of the EU taken as a whole (or, said in another way, around 50 per cent of the general public of the Member States representing around 90 per cent of the EU's population), identifies as first option the Nestlé as the business origin of a product with the shape of the contested mark (which belongs to the categories of 'sweets, bakery products, pastries, biscuits, cakes and waffles')' (at )
In addition, according to case-law, although it must be proved that a mark has acquired distinctive character through use throughout the European Union, the same types of evidence do not have to be provided in respect of each Member State (...).
Furthermore, the Court has repeatedly held that there was insufficient proof of distinctive character acquired through use of a mark throughout the European Union where evidence was missing for certain Member States (...).
In particular, in the judgment of 21 April 2015, Louis Vuitton Malletier v OHIM — Nanu-Nana (Representation of a grey chequerboard pattern) (T‑360/12, not published, EU:T:2015:214), while relying on the case-law developed in the judgment of 24 May 2012, Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli v OHIM (C‑98/11 P, EU:C:2012:307), according to which it would be unreasonable to require proof of acquisition of distinctive character through use for each Member State, the Court considered that, since such acquisition had not been established for 12 of the 27 Member States constituting the European Union at the date of filing the application for registration of the mark in question, that mark could not be regarded as having acquired distinctive character through use throughout the European Union (...).The Board of Appeal had found that in the present case, because Nestlé had submitted survey evidence for the largest Member States proving acquired distinctiveness, and a Table with market shares for all Member States (which is not reproduced in the judgment, hence it is not possible to say whether the market share is similar for those countries for which no survey evidence was produced), that acquired distinctiveness had been proven throughout the territory of the Union. However, the Court disagrees – such a “merging” of territories is not permissible:
The Board of Appeal considered, in essence, that it was sufficient to show that a significant proportion of the relevant public throughout the European Union, merging all the Member States and regions, perceived a mark as an indication of the commercial origin of the goods designated by that mark.
However, that criterion is incorrect: the relevant question is not whether it was shown that a substantial proportion of the public in the European Union, merging all the Member States and regions, perceived a mark as an indication of the commercial origin of the goods designated by that mark, but whether, throughout the European Union, it was proved that a significant proportion of the relevant public perceived a mark as an indication of the commercial origin of the goods designated by that mark. A lack of recognition of the sign as an indication of commercial origin in one part of the territory of the European Union cannot be offset by a higher level of awareness in another part of the European Union.
|Do I smell trade mark infringement?|