On 15 March 2018, the General Court of the European Union (GC) annulled the prior decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of the EUIPO (Case R 165/2016-4), deeming that there indeed was a likelihood of confusion between the figurative marks “Winged bull“ and “Griffin“. The parties involved were the internationally known hospitality company Marriott Worldwide Corp. , which held the rights for the figurative mark representing a griffin and Johann Graf, a famous Austrian billionaire and owner of the international gambling company Novomatic, who had obtained a EUTM registration for the use of the figurative mark of a winged bull. The interesting part in this case is the difficulty in objectively assessing whether the trademarks were visually and conceptually similar, since the organs of the EUIPO deemed the signs very different from each other while paying attention to details, whereas the GC sifted the focus on the overall meaning of the signs in the sense that they were both representing imaginary beings.
Marriott Johann Graf
EU Trademark No. 8458259 EU Trademark No. 010511723
(Figurative mark) (Figurative mark) Weiterlesen über Marriott wins case against Austrian billionaire: General Court rules visual and conceptual similarity between figurative marks