Vinho Verde may remind you of the white village you left behind the sea, but not the VERVE mark…
In a dispute between the Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and Le Vigne di Sammarco S.R.L., the Second Board of Appeal decided that there is no liability of confusion between the mark VERVE (and device) and the mark VINHO VERDE (R 126/2021-2, decision of 29-10-2021).
The Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes filed an opposition against EUTM application with the following representation:
The opposition was based on the Portuguese prior mark VINHO VERDE (wordmark), the prior extension to international registration of the mark
and also the designations of origin VINHO VERDE, AGUARDENTE DE VINHO VERDE DA REGIÃO DOS VINHOS VERDES, AGUARDENTE BAGACEIRA DA REGIÃO DOS VINHOS VERDES.
The mark VERVE (and device) covers in Class 33 goods identical to those protected by the Opponent’s earlier rights, namely: Sparkling wines; Rose wines; Red wine; Wine; Sparkling white wines; White wine; Natural sparkling wines; Wines of protected geographical indication; Still wine; Grape wine; Wines of protected appellation of origin; Sparkling red wines; Sparkling grape wine; Dessert wines.
The opposition was rejected by the EUIPO, and the registration was fully granted, as it was considered that there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks since the earlier marks had a low level of distinctiveness and were globally different from a graphic, phonetic and conceptual point of view. The designations of origin invoked have not been attended to due to the lack of supporting documents under the terms of the uniform EU system of protection regarding geographical indications for wines and spirit drinks.
The Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes appealed.
However, at the Second Board of Appeal, the EUIPO confirmed the decision, maintaining the same position.
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