Trademarks and Patents





By Santiago Soler Lerma:


The European General Court of Justice has concluded that TORRO trademark cannot coexist in the market with the previous registered trademark TORO due to its phonetic similarities.

The Bulgarian company Torro Entertainment Ltd., applied to the EUIPO (formerly OHIM) to register the trademark “TORRO” for, among others, management analysis, advertising, promotion and marketing services or even the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Osborne filed an opposition against the mentioned application based on its previous registered trademark “TORO”.  The opposition was accepted and the registration of “TORRO” was denied. After appealing that decision, the trademark application “TORRO” was partially granted for some services that did not conflict with the services covered by the Osborne trademark.

It should be noted that the famous “bull” of Osborne has already been the subject of several proceedings, especially after the regulation and restriction of advertising on Spanish secondary roads. The billboards of the “bull” were not removed because they came to be considered as already part of the Spanish environment and culture.

Nowadays, the figure of the “bull”, without completely disassociating itself from its origin as the logo of an alcoholic beverage, has become an icon, a symbol and an ornament that adorns and distinguishes a multitude of products, such as cups, flags, wallets or caps among others. Osborne also uses the name “TORO” as a brand to distinguish the establishments where the products marked and decorated with its famous bull shape are sold.

Probably based on that wide use,  Osborne concluded that any use of a similar brand, as “TORRO” in this case, was against its rights and interests, so appealed to the Court of Justice of the EU, which, in a first resolution has estimated his claims, revoking the EUIPO Resolution and totally refusing the “TORRO” trademark.

Now the Bulgarian company has a term to appeal in Cassation if it is not satisfied with the substance and the arguments of this first Court Judgment.


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