In a recent High Court decision, the wheels came flying off for Assos, the Swiss based cycle wear brand. Assos claimed trade mark infringement and passing off by Asos.
Despite the visual and phonetical similarities – ASSOS and ASOS – and that it is not always necessary to show evidence of confusion, Assos was unable to provide significant evidence of confusion amongst the public in circumstances where the marks had coexisted for over 8 years. Nor could Assos show that the ASOS mark was detrimental to the distinctiveness and reputation of the ASSOS mark.
Unfortunately for Assos, that was not the end of the track. Asos successfully counterclaimed for partial revocation of the ASSOS trade mark. As a result the range of goods covered by the ASSOS mark was slashed to cover only specialist clothing for cycling.
Attacking or defending a trade mark infringement claim? Here are some tactical points:
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