Thursday

17th Jan 2019

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 18 year's of archives. 30 days 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.

EU court set to side with accused Latvian banker

Latvia was wrong to have suspended its central bank chief from his job over bribery allegations, an EU jurist has said, as Europe struggles to clamp down on financial crime.

Muscat's one-man rule poses challenge for EU

Malta's PM already enjoys the kind of one-man rule Hungary and Poland are trying to build, but can the EU afford another political confrontation in sensitive times?

News in Brief

  1. Another referendum 'would take a year', Downing St says
  2. 82-year old Berlusconi to run in EU elections
  3. EU parliament votes to triple funds for democracy promotion
  4. EU parliament backs linking budget payments to rule of law
  5. Verhofstadt voted for Draghi amendment 'by mistake'
  6. 'Plan B' Brexit vote in UK parliament set for 29 January
  7. Verhofstadt wanted Draghi out of G30 group
  8. Putin heads to Serbia amid warnings against West

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Brexit delay 'reasonable', as May tries cross-party talks
  2. MEPs allow Draghi's membership of secretive bank group
  3. EU parliament backs Morocco deal despite row
  4. Barnier open to 'future relations' talks if UK red lines shift
  5. German spies to monitor far-right AfD party
  6. On Morocco, will the EU ignore its own court?
  7. UK parliament rejects May's Brexit deal in historic defeat
  8. EU suggests majority vote on digital tax by 2025

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us