Puma’s Reputation in Other Cases Relevant to Trademark Opposition

An employee adjusts the tongue of a trainer inside a Puma SE sportswear clothing store in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Puma increased its full-year forecasts for the second time in three months as the German sporting-goods maker unexpectedly reported a jump in quarterly sales and profit. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Footwear and apparel maker Puma SE will get to use victories in past trademark proceedings as evidence of the reputation of its leaping cat logo to oppose another company’s registration application, an adviser to the European Union’s highest court said today.

The advisory opinion by an advocate general for the Court of Justice of the European Union would makes it easier for an established trademark owner to oppose a registration application filed with the EU Intellectual Property Office simply by referring to the EUIPO’s past decisions. That saves a company like Puma from having to establish the reputation of its marks from scratch.

Puma is trying to stop Gemma Group SRL from getting a trademark registration covering a leaping feline logo for wood and aluminum processing and PVC treatment machines. The advocate general’s opinion supports the General Court’s annulment of a ruling by the EUIPO board of appeal supporting dismissal of Puma’s opposition.

The case is European Union Intellectual Property Office v. Puma SE, E.C.J., No. C-564/16 P, advocate general opinion 1/25/18.