DÄLVADOS cancelled for alluding to CALVADOS

Sweden

On October 12 2015 the Swedish Patent and Registration Office cancelled the trademark registration for DÄLVADOS following an opposition by the French organisation INAO (Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité) and the French inter-branch organisation IDAC (Interprofession Des Appellations Cidricoles).  

A Swedish individual registered the trademark DÄLVADOS for various alcoholic beverages and spirits. This did not go unnoticed by INAO and IDAC, which, among other things, monitor the use of a large number of protected geographical indications of origin. They opposed to registration of DÄLVADOS by pointing out that the trademark was confusingly similar to the CALVADOS mark. Calvados is an apple brandy from the Calvados area in north-western France. 

INAO and IDAC argued that registration of the trademark DÄLVADOS would be against national and Community legislation, since:

  • The trademark DÄLVADOS was a clear imitation and evocation of the protected trademark CALVADOS.

  • CALVADOS is an established trademark and DÄLVADOS would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the repute of CALVADOS.

  • The trademark CALVADOS is protected as a geographical indication (GI) for alcoholic beverages and spirits, and the use of a similar trademark for comparable products would be misleading and create confusion as to the products commercial and geographical origin.

The holder of the trademark DÄLVADOS disputed the grounds for the opposition, claiming that the trademark was simply a clever reference to a geographical place in Dalarna, Sweden. Furthermore, it explained that DÄLVADOS consisted of the combination of the name of the river Dalälven (Dal River, the second largest river in Sweden) and the Greek god Adonis.

The Swedish Patent and Registration Office dismissed the “creative” explanation of the holder of the mark and stated that, since CALVADOS was a protected GI for alcoholic beverages and spirits, the main question in this case was simply whether there was a likelihood of confusion between the trademark DÄLVADOS and the protected GI.

The Patent and Registration Office stated that the scope of protection of GIs also includes words and phrases which in some way allude or refer to the protected indication. In this case, it found that DÄLVADOS alludes to Calvados by evoking associations in the mind of consumers, both through its similar sounding name and due to the fact that the trademark covers the same type of products as CALVADOS. 

DÄLVADOS was thus cancelled based on the above-mentioned grounds.

This cancellation is further proof that GIs are protected and preserved in all corners of Europe.

Tom Kronhöffer and Maria Klein, von lode advokat ab, Stockholm

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