TRADE MARK LAW - LITIGATION
No error of law by the General Court in demarcating Forge de Laguiole’s business sectors in order to determine the scope of protection of the earlier business name FORGE DE LAGUIOLE. General court did not in any way generally apply its case-law by analogy with regard to the scope of protection of trademarks applied on the scope of protection of business name.
68. It is appropriate, first of all, to note, as the Advocate General did in point 78 of her Opinion, that the General Court, when examining the business activities pursued by Forge de Laguiole, did not in any way generally apply its case-law by analogy. Thus, the General Court cited its case-law on the use of earlier trade marks only in paragraph 63 of the judgment under appeal, in order to explain its assessment that the marketing of forks did not make it possible to establish a business activity in the entire ‘tableware’ sector, but only in a business sector relating to ‘forks and spoons’."
The judgment of 10 July 2012 had to be taken into account as evidence that the General Court takes the intended distribution channels into account.
"69. Next, it must be held that the General Court did not, it is true, first explicitly mention the criteria on the basis of which the business activities actually pursued by Forge de Laguiole had to be determined and that it cited, in paragraph 81 of the judgment under appeal, case-law of the French courts, relied on by the parties, only in the course of its examination of the likelihood of confusion.
70. However, it is clear from the judgment under appeal that, when examining those business activities, in paragraphs 54 to 74 of that judgment, the General Court expressly referred not only to the nature of the goods concerned, but also to their intended use, purpose, customers and distribution channels."
C‑598/14 P - ECLI:EU:C:2017:265