Thursday

23rd Jan 2020

No EU trade mark for Irish boyband Westlife

The second highest EU Court, the Court of First Instance, annulled a decision on Wednesday (4 May) to register Irish boyband Westlife as an EU trade mark because the name is too close to the existing German trade mark 'West'.

In November 2003, the Spanish-based Community Trade Mark Office (OHIM) had actually allowed the German media group Bertelsmann AG to register "Westlife" as a trademark in the EU.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

But the decision was contested by the Hamburg-based tobacco firm, Reemark Gesellschaft für Markenkooperation mbH, which had previously registered the name "West" as a trade mark in Germany - on its own and in conjunction with various other words.

The German company filed a notice of opposition when the application was published in the Community Trade Mark Bulletin.

Even though the two companies did not want to register the trademark in the same classes, the Court annulled the decision of the OHIM to award Westlife with a trade mark name.

"The Court finds that there is a likelihood of confusion between the two trade marks", the court judgment said.

While "West" is a German as well as an English word, the word "life" only exists in English. But the court said the word "life" may be also be recognised by the average German consumer and thus the likelihood of confusion exists.

Thousands apply for EU border guard posts

Around 7,500 applications were sent to Frontex to fill 700 new border guard posts. The guards will become official EU staff and wear a yet to be unveiled 'European Union' uniform.

Interview

Cloud of mistrust over Malta's new government

Malta's new government does not look likely to turn it into a normal, law-abiding EU state any time soon, the son of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has said.

Belgium, France, UK in EU court surveillance blow

Although non-binding, a critical opinion from the EU's top court could mean laws in Belgium, France and the UK allowing for the indiscriminate bulk collection of people's data may have to be eventually amended to respect EU privacy rules.

News in Brief

  1. UK watchdog unveils online child-privacy standards
  2. Alleged 'bully' nominated for EESC presidency
  3. Greens/EFA fail to agree on accepting Catalan MEPs
  4. MEPs approve over 55 gas projects for EU funding
  5. Italy deputy PM Di Maio quits as Five Star party leader
  6. EU investment bank to keep pressure on Turkey over gas
  7. 'Rare' migrant boat from Belgium to UK sinks
  8. First annual rule of law report expected this year, Reynders said

European politicians caught with Russian 'fake likes'

Politicians and political parties in Europe have had bots generate fake 'likes', views, and comments to boost their online popularity, in what has been described as outright voter manipulation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. EU warned on 'vigilance' after Davos spy fail
  2. What's Libya's impact on EU foreign policy?
  3. EU commission 'lacks ambition' on future conference
  4. Will US privacy-lite hollow out GDPR?
  5. Senior Polish member at EU body faces Belgian abuse probe
  6. Why isn't Germany helping gay rights in Hungary, Poland?
  7. US retiree, scammed by former EU official, awaits justice
  8. Vienna-Brussels night train returns amid EU green talk

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us