Sky EU trade mark success after Aldi ‘Skyline’ bid

The EU General Court has found in Sky’s favour after Aldi made a bid to register ‘Skyline’ as an EU trade mark.

In February 2013, grocery chain Aldi made an application to file ‘Skyline’ as an EU trade mark for laptop and travelling bags in classes 9 and 18.

This was opposed by Sky, the broadcasting company, who based their opposition on their multiple ‘Sky’ trade marks which are registered in the EU, a key one being ‘Sky’ as a word mark registered in relation to consumer electronic devices and leather goods.

The opposition was considered by the EU Intellectual Property Office Opposition Division who sided with Sky stating that Aldi’s application should be dismissed as the marks are confusingly similar.

Aldi made some attempt to appeal with the case being finally heard by the EU General Court. They agreed with the rulings of the Opposition Division and Fourth Board of Appeal and ordered the EU Intellectual Property Office must dismiss Aldi’s ‘Skyline’ application as it will cause a likelihood of confusion with Sky’s trade marks.

Aldi tried to submit arguments that Sky should produce evidence of use within the relevant classes but this request being rejected by both the Opposition Division and the Board of Appeal.

Aldi certainly bore the brunt of the loss as they were also order to pay all costs. Bearing in mind the opposition was initially filed in June 2013 and the EU General Court handed down their judgment on 19th October 2017.

A costly trade mark bid for Aldi and a warning to others trying to register trade marks which may be too close to well established marks.

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