OLIVER opposition unsuccessful


The Athens Administrative Court of First Instance has affirmed a decision of the Trademark Committee to dismiss an opposition filed against the trademark OLIVER by Dutch company Valentino Globe BV (which belongs to famous fashion house Valentino Group) (Case 17819/2002, September 11 2006).

Valentino Globe filed a recourse with the Athens Administrative Court of First Instance requesting the reconsideration of its opposition launched against the OLIVER mark which was dismissed by the Trademark Committee.

The legal foundations for the opposition and subsequent recourse were Valentino Globe's prior registered Greek OLIVER device mark covering goods in Class 25 of the Nice Classification (which includes clothing, footwear and headgear) and the fame of this mark, evidenced by registration certificates in a number of countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, some of which dated from 1986.

Valentino Globe therefore alleged that the Greek applicant's OLIVER mark (covering goods in Classes 3, 18 and 25) was capable of causing confusion to the consuming public, especially given the fact that the classes it covered coincided with the Greek and foreign OLIVER trademark registrations owned by Valentino Globe.

The Trademark Committee was not convinced and it held, among other things, that the proposed registration was sufficiently different from the earlier marks as these marks also included the image of a dog and the characteristic 'V' device, which represents the Valentino fashion house.

The Trademark Committee was also not persuaded of the fame of the earlier marks, since it considered that the evidence submitted did not fulfill all the requirements for establishing a trademark as "famous".

On appeal, the Athens Administrative Court of First Instance reconsidered the matter on its merits and affirmed the Trademark Committee's decision.

Eleni Lappa, Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou John V Filias & Associates, Athens

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