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Europa Press
Published
Mar 16, 2016
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EU court denies The Body Shop registration of trademark

By
Europa Press
Published
Mar 16, 2016

The General Court of the European Union declared that UK cosmetic company The Body Shop cannot register ‘Spa Wisdom’ as a Community trademark, on the grounds that it could take unfair advantage of the reputation of Spa Monopole brands, a Belgian cosmetics company well established in the Benelux countries.


The Body Shop's British Rose collection - The Body Shop


The case goes back to 2010, when The Body Shop filed an application for registration of a Community trademark with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). Spa Monopole opposed the registration of ‘Spa Wisdom’ based on a number of earlier marks registered in Benelux which use the term ‘spa’, including its trademark ‘SPA’.

In January 2014, the OHIM rejected The Body Shop’s application due to the similarity between the trademark and Spa Monopole’s mark. Later that year, the company The Body Shop appealed against the decision to the General Court.

However the General Court ruled on Tuesday that the term ‘spa’ cannot be a generic term for cosmetic products.

Furthermore, it said that there is a risk that the use of ‘Spa Wisdom’ would take unfair advantage of the repute of the trademark ‘SPA’ and of its brand image, which relates to health, beauty, purity and richness in minerals.

Additionally, there is a risk that the relevant target audience could associate both brands due to their name similarity, it said.

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