Precedential case on design protection in the European Court of Justice

Uncertainty about the scope of design protection in the EU prior to this case

Since 2002 it has been possible to register an asset in the form of design protection that applies throughout the EU. Until 2010, no case had been appealed all the way up to the highest court, the EU Court Tribunal. This meant that there was still some uncertainty about the strength and scope of design protection, particularly since many of the EU member states had often judged differently in the cases previously handled. This situation continued until the case between the Spanish company Promer, represented by Groth & Co in Alicante, and PepsiCo was taken up by the European Court in March, 2011.

The case was between PepsiCo and Promer

The case concerned Pogs or Tazos, a type of toy shaped like a large coin and made of plastic, cardboard or aluminum, and printed with highly colourful designs. Games are played with the discs, with the aim of winning the opponent’s discs. PepsiCo began distributing discs under the name Tazos through its subsidiary Fritolay. However, Promer already had a design registration for a similar disc, and had actually approached PepsiCo on a number of occasions to sell the concept to them.

We won this precedential case on Promer’s behalf

Legal proceedings began in 2003 and have passed through OHIM’s Opposition Division, the EU Court of Appeals and finally the European Court Tribunal. Groth & Co’s customer Promer emerged victorious from the proceedings armed with argumentation and comprehensive knowledge of EU practice. The EU Court annulled PepsiCo’s registration.

"Until 2010 there was still uncertainty about the strength and scope of design protection in the EU."

Client

Grupo Promer Mon-Graphic S.A.

Branch

Consumer Products

Contact(s)

Ruth Almaraz Palmero

Advocat

Master of Laws

European Trademark and Design Attorney

+34 965 92 04 55

ruth.almaraz-palmero@groth.eu

Agustin Almaraz

Advocat

Master of Laws

European Trademark and Design Attorney

agustin.almaraz@groth.eu

Mats Lundberg

Managing Partner

Managing Director

European Trademark and Design Attorney

+46 8 729 91 52

mats.lundberg@groth.eu

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  • Jordglob

    Stockholm

    Headquarter

    Groth & Co KB
    Box 6107
    SE-102 32 STOCKHOLM

    Visiting address:
    Birger Jarlsgatan 57 B, 113 56 Stockholm
    SWEDEN
    Telephone: +46 8 729 91 00
    Email: info@groth.eu
    Fax: +46 8 31 67 67

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  • Jordglob

    Alicante

    Groth & Co KB
    Avda. De Aguilera 19-1 B
    E-03007 ALICANTE
    SPAIN
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    Email: info@groth.eu
    Fax: +34 96 592 05 03

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    Munich

    Groth GmbH
    Rosenkavalierplatz 4
    D-81925 MUNICH
    GERMANY
    Telephone: +49 89 982 952 63
    Email: info@groth.eu
    Fax: +49 89 982 952 65

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  • Jordglob

    Shanghai

    Groth & Co KB
    378 WuKang Road, Office 303
    200031 SHANGHAI
    CHINA
    Telephone: +86 1361 180 4064
    Email: info@groth.eu

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