Ruling of non-infringement in toy and slot car models with third-party trademarks

7 December 2011

The ruling, handed down by the Community Trademark Court located in Alicante, thus cleared of any wrongdoing a well-know manufacturer of slot cars who included the sponsor logos the original cars had on their bodywork on scale models.

The case arose from a complaint filed by one of the sponsors of an auto racing team who alleged that the reproduction of their logos on the miniature models violated their trademark rights.

The Community Trademark Court rejected the claim and determined that there was no trademark violation or unfair competition. Their decision was principally based on EU case law stemming from the January 25, 2007 ruling issued by the ECJ in the case Adam Open vs. Anteco.

The ruling deemed that the main purpose of trademarks was none other than to indicate the origin of the products and concluded that the use of the trademark did not undermine said purpose. The Court determined that although use of the trademark was not granted, the average consumer would not be confused by its use, and therefore there was no proof of trademark infringement.

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