The two companies have been embroiled in a trademark dispute for a number of years. In 2006 MIP Metro was granted permission by the Office for Harmonisation of the Internal Market (“OHIM”)to use the trademark ‘Real’ in the colour red for a wide range of products including detergents and yogurt.
Tayto Group made an application for revocation of the trademark that was assigned to MIP Metro in August 2011. This was done so on the grounds that the trademark in question had not been in use. MIP Metro responded by stating that the trademark had in fact been in use and was in fact used in over 300 stores that collectively stock a range of 80,000 products.
OHIM revoked the trademark in 2013, stating that the evidence that MIP Metro had submitted to show that the trademark had been in use was insufficient and further that the registered trademark had not been used as registered.
MIP Metro subsequently appealed that decision and contested that the trademark was valid. MIP Metro was successful in doing so and OHIM stated that MIP Metro “has proven that the contested mark was put to genuine use in the European Union for the relevant period in connection with the following goods in respect of which the mark is registered”.
However, earlier this year Tayto Group took its case to the European Court of Justice. The company wants the court to overturn, in part, the appeal decision that has been secured by MIP Metro.
The hearing has been scheduled for next month in Luxembourg. Keep an eye on the reading room as we will be updating you with the outcome as soon as further news becomes available.