PELÉ cancellation proves strict use trademark requirements


The Metropolitan Board of Appeal has issued a decision that confirms that to counter a cancellation action for lack of use, a mark owner must show that its use of the mark over the relevant period was serious, regular, continuous and significant in the territory of Hungary (Case 8.Pkf.25.662/2006/4, August 24 2006).

The Hungarian Patent Office (HPO) upheld the application by an individual called Szente Lászó to cancel the mark PELÉ owned by Portuguese company Companhia Cacique de Café Solúvel (Solúvel) for coffee in Class 30 of the Nice Classification. The Metropolitan Court upheld the decision and Solúvel appealed to the Metropolitan Board of Appeal, which confirmed.

As evidence of use of its PELÉ mark Solúvel submitted a variety of items, including waybills, invoices, consignment notes, affidavits, printouts from the Internet and correspondence relating to infrigement proceedings between Solúvel and Lászó with regard to the use of the mark CAFÉ PELÉ in advertisements.

However, the Metropolitan Board of Appeal found that the evidence did not satisfy the trademark use requirements set by the law, which are that the trademark use must be serious, regular, continuous and significant in the territory of Hungary, in order to maintain trademark protection. The board gave a detailed explanation as to why each item was not evidence of use; for instance, it held that printouts from the Internet do not prove use in Hungary or that correspondence relating to infringement proceedings do not show use - only an attempt at enforcing the mark.

Gabriella Sasvári, SBG & K Patent and Law Office, Budapest

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