Huawei prevails in EU trade mark dispute with Chanel

On 20 April 2021, Chinese tech giant prevailed in a trade mark battle bought on by French luxury brand Chanel.

The dispute arose in 2017 when Huawei made an application to register their logo which included two vertical interlocking semi circles. Despite the application being made under ‘computer hardware’, the French luxury brand opposed the application on the grounds that the logo applied for was too similar to its existing logo featuring two horizontal interlocking semi circles registered under perfumes, cosmetics, costume jewellery, leather goods and clothing.

In 2019, Chanel brought against the decision of the Fourth Board of Appeal of EUIPO (Case R 1041/2019-4), where the European Union Intellectual Property Office dismissed Chanel’s opposition on the grounds that the Huawei application would not cause any confusion in the mind of the public.

Chanel thereafter proceeded with taking the dispute up to the Luxembourg based General Court who reaffirmed the Office’s decision. In its ruling, the Court said “The figurative marks at issue are not similar. The marks must be compared as applied for and registered, without altering their orientation… In particular, Chanel’s marks have more rounded curves, thicker lines and a horizontal orientation, whereas the orientation of the Huawei mark is vertical.

The Court dismissed the action of Chanel and ordered them to pay the costs.

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