The European Court of Justice on the trademark 'Specsavers'

With the decision of 18 July 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on the requisite of the ‘genuine use’ of a registered trademark and on the importance of colour in assessing the likelihood of confusion between two trademarks.

The decision is the result of two questions referred to the ECJ by a UK Court of Appeal dealing with an alleged infringement of Community trademarks registered by the Specsavers group.

First, ECJ was requested whether the use of a Community figurative complex trademark constituted by a shape used in conjunction with the word ‘Specsavers’ which is superimposed over it, can amount to ‘genuine use’ of the shape figurative trademark pursuant to sections 15(1) and 51(1)(a) Reg. EC/207/2009 on the Community trademark…

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