On 18 September, the General Court of the EU ruled on case T-387/13 (“Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia” v. OHMI, the other party to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal of OHIM being Nadine Hélène Jeanne Hautrive) concerning the application for the Community figurative mark “COLOMBIANO HOUSE” for restaurant services (Class 43 in the Nice classification). It also ruled on case T-359/14 (“Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia” v. OHMI, the other party to the proceedings before the Board of Appeal of OHIM being Accelerate s.a.l., established in Beirut) concerning the invalidity proceedings for the Community figurative mark “COLOMBIANO COFFEE HOUSE” registered as well for restaurant services.
The General Court held that PDO/PGI are protected in the EU not only with respect to trademarks subsequently applied for the same class of products or for comparable products. While not ex officio, trademarks conflicting with a PDO/PGI applied for non-comparable products (including services) should be denied registration if their use exploits the reputation of the PDO/PGI at issue. The Board of Appeal of OHIM will have to reconsider the 2 cases based on these principles, which by the way the same Office had correctly taken into account earlier this year in a similar case concerning the trademark application “Colombeuno” (Class 43) also conflicting with the PGI “Café de Colombia”.
More information Read the Press Release (in Spanish)