Paulo Monteverde Joana Cunha Reis August 15 2022 Court qualifies RED BULL as reputable trademark and refuses confusingly similar trademark BULLS BMA | Intellectual Property - Portugal Paulo Monteverde, Joana Cunha Reis Intellectual Property IntroductionFactsPTOIP CourtLisbon Court of AppealIntroductionThe Portuguese trademark application shown in Figure 1 was opposed on the grounds of the prior trademarks shown in Figure 2, Figure 3 and Figure 4.Figure 1: opposed trademarkFigure 2: prior trademarkFigure 3: prior trademarkFigure 4: prior trademarkThe opposition was dismissed and the Portuguese Trademark Office (PTO) granted the application. However, following several rounds of appeal, the Lisbon Court of Appeal finally qualified RED BULL as a reputable trademark and refused the BULLS trademark due to the risk of confusion. The Lisbon Court of Appeal's decision was published in the Portuguese IP Journal on 6 July 2022.FactsOn 4 September 2020, an application for the Portuguese trademark No. 649013 (Figure 1) was filed by two individuals in classes 25 and 41. On 18 December 2020, Red Bull GmbH opposed this application on the grounds of likelihood of confusion and the reputation of their prior EU trademarks in classes 25 and 41, among others:No. 017363037 (Figure 2), applied for on 18 October 2017;No. 017363094 (Figure 3), applied for on 18 October 2017; andNo. 018061503 (Figure 4), applied for on 7 May 2019.PTOOn 24 March 2021, the PTO granted the application. The PTO shared the view that, even if Red Bull's trademarks were reputable, the conflicting trademarks conveyed dissimilar overall impressions.IP CourtAn appeal was then filed with the IP Court. On 22 November 2021, the PTO's decision was revoked.The IP Court mentioned that the terms "bulls" and "red bull" are graphically and aurally similar and conceptually identical, and that the bull device elements would be similar in the eyes of the consumers. The Court also recognised Red Bull trademarks' reputation and declared that the applied-for trademark (Figure 1) could unduly benefit from such reputation or harm it.Lisbon Court of AppealThe Lisbon Court of Appeal confirmed the IP Court's view that the applied-for trademark (Figure 1) is graphically, aurally, conceptually and visually similar to Red Bull's trademarks and stated that there was a likelihood of confusion and association for consumers. The Court also recognised Red Bull's trademarks' reputation, thus confirming that they enjoyed enhanced protection, and agreed with the refusal of the application.The Court of Appeal's decision is final.For further information on this topic please contact Paulo Monteverde or Joana Cunha Reis at Baptista Monteverde & Associados by telephone (+351 213 806 530) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Baptista Monteverde & Associados website can be accessed at www.bma.pt.