Surprising trademark battle between BMW and Monster Energy

23 February 2023

What do BMW and Monster Energy have to do with each other? One manufactures cars, while the other makes sports drinks. It came as a surprise recently, when these companies were pitted against each other after BMW filed an opposition against an application for Monster Energy's logo.

The trouble started when Monster Energy's logo filed an application for cars. It did not look like a massive problem, but BMW saw a resemblance between Monster Energy's logo and its earlier trademark M, and probably thinks that Monster Energy's logo can be perceived as an M.

Although the European Trademarks Office made it abundantly clear that there is no visual similarity at all between the trademarks, it was unable to rule out the possibility that a small group might construe Monster Energy's logo as a letter M. In short, there is an aural similarity, even if it would only be perceived as such by a small group.

So does this mean that the opposition was successful? The answer to this is no: the European Trademarks Office always considers all differences, similarities, and additional circumstances, and weighs them up before coming to a conclusion. In this case, the major differences outweighed the sole fact that a few people will see an M in the Monster Energy logo.

Beeld bij tekst Logos BMW en Monster


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