A deer on a drink – where have we seen that before?

13 October 2022

If you can’t answer this question straight away, here’s a hint: you only drink this beverage when it is ice and ice cold.

Yes, we are talking about JÄGERMEISTER, a famous trademark for a herbal bitter. As you probably know, JÄGERMEISTER’s logo is a deer. But does this entitle JÄGERMEISTER to take action against another deer logo filed for food and non-alcoholic beverages? After all, these products are not similar, and the logo is also slightly different.

Mast-Jägermeister (the company behind JÄGERMEISTER) filed an opposition based on the widespread reputation of their logo. Evidence of this reputation was considered by the European Trademarks Office and seeing that this trademark has been used extensively for many years, it agreed with Mast-Jägermeister on this point.

But the fact that the JÄGERMEISTER logo is so well-known does not automatically mean that the other trademark constitutes an infringement. In order for another trademark to be considered an infringement, consumers would have to make a connection between the trademarks and products, or the trademark would have to involve a deliberate attempt to profit from or dilute the other trademark’s reputation.

The European Trademarks Office considered the brands to be visually similar to each other, as the main differences were in the details. Since the products of both brands have overlapping sales channels, the EUIPO said it is plausible that consumers could make a connection between the trademarks. There is a real risk that the younger trademark could profit from JÄGERMEISTER’s fame, and there is also a risk of dilution. Therefore the opposition was upheld. This decision was good news for owners of a famous trademark.

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