Famous trademark: complementarity between products and services relevant to likelihood of confusion (France – Cour de cassation)

Emmanuel LarereCour de cassation, Chambre commerciale, March 27, 2019, Appeal No. T 17-28.213 The French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) overturned the judgment of the Paris Court of appeals (here) which had denied similarity between goods and services on the ground that they were only indirectly related, because the Court of appeals should have examined whether these goods and services were of a complementary nature. The US company Clinique Laboratories LLC (Clinique) which specializes in the manufacture and marketing of cosmetic products owns the European Union Trademark “CLINIQUE”, registered in 1996. It designates in particular perfumes, toiletries, cosmetics, hair and body care products. Clinique discovered in 2016 that a French Company WB Technologies (WBT) was using “CLINIQUE DIGITALE” and “LA CLINIQUE DIGITALE” on a website and for an upcoming web-app to allow the consumer to build a digital beauty profile. Therefore, Clinique filed…

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