Lookalike case finally coming to a successful end

PAVLOV & CO concludes lengthy litigation against local producer for copying client packaging

The team of PAVLOV & CO brought some good news to a major international client, after a case that was started almost 4 years ago finally came to a successful conclusion. Early this month the Supreme Court of Cassation effectively ended a court battle that began back in 2016. The case was started in defense of IP rights over a registered and well-known EUTM for processed cheese by world-renowned BEL S.A. (formerly – Fromageries BEL). A local company started selling an identical product – processed cheese, using a packaging that significantly resembled the box used by BEL for years, but utilizing a different word element. A case was brought before the court, claiming infringement of both - the registered trademark due to likelihood of confusion, and also of a trademark enjoying reputation due to detriment to the repute and taking unfair advantage from the notoriety of the earlier sign. Following extensive procedures, numerous evidence presented and several expert opinions, the first instance court ruled in favor of BEL, concluding that their trademark did, in fact, enjoy reputation, and also that the package used by the defendant fell under both counts of infringement. The decision was appealed before the Sofia Court of Appeals, but it was dismissed as unfounded. The Supreme Court of Cassation ruled not to allow the final cassation appeal to proceed, which ended the entire litigation procedure successfully.