The Greek Supreme Administrative Court ("Supreme Court") recently remanded a ruling to the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal with specific guidelines to consider in the trade mark matter between Red Bull and the Greek energy drink 'Crazy Bull' (Τρελός Ταύρος).
The marks in question are that of the earlier Red Bull mark, consisting of two charging red coloured bulls, head to head on the background of a large yellow disc, and the later 'Crazy Bull' mark featuring a yellow snorting bull, head lowered.
The Court of Appeal had ruled that no likelihood of confusion existed on the basis of aural and visual distinctiveness between the two marks. In addition to this, the claim as to a bad faith application was grounded on the basis that it could not be substantiated by the holders of the earlier mark.
The Supreme Court disagreed with this ruling and held that the Court of Appeal had failed to appreciate not only the conceptual similarity between the two marks, but the identical and or similar nature of the goods and marks involved and the enhanced distinctive character of the earlier Red Bull mark.
By remanding the case to the Court of Appeal with the above guidelines, the Supreme Court is therefore inviting the lower court to revisit the case and make a ruling along the suggested lines.
This decision was greeted in a positive fashion and may yet vindicate the Greek Trade Mark Office's initial decision.
A final judgment is expected towards the end of 2015.in: EU/International, Trade Marks