In January 2020, Volkswagen (VW, the Opponent) filed an opposition againstthis trade mark application, alleging a likelihood of confusion with itsearlier 3D shape registrations. The Applicant’s mark covered camping vehicles and camping equipment and VW’s earlier marks cover broad vehicle and furniture terms.
The opposition was initially dismissed by the EUIPO Opposition Division and then overturned by the Board of Appeal (BoA) in December 2021.
This case impresses on brand owners the issue of dilution of their marks over time and the importance of taking action when a similar mark arises. This could lead to the marks becoming generic (or at least weak), in turn making it more and more difficult to take enforcement action against infringers and unauthorised use of the marks.
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