Red Bull GmbH v. Crystal Drinks Limited

Red Bull GmbH

Case details

Plaintiff: Red Bull GmbH

Case no.: O/081/02

Jurisdiction: United Kingdom

Industry: Food and Drink

Decision date: 13 Feb, 2002


The opponents based their opposition on their marks RED and RED BULL, and sought the exclusion of "energy/alertness drinks" from the applicants’ specification. Dealing with the matter first under Section 5(2)(b), the Hearing Officer noted that the goods were identical/similar and the opponents’ mark (RED BULL) was highly distinctive. However, he found no likelihood of confusion between the marks (RED-X and RED BULL)and went on to consider the matter of the opponents’ mark RED, pending before OHIM, and constituting an earlier trade mark by reason of its filing date. Here he felt that the evidence did not give the word RED anything other than a weak claim to a distinctive character. He went on to compare the marks, and remarked that "where short marks are concerned, particularly short marks that consist of or contain elements that are weakly distinctive in themselves, small differences may suffice to avoid a finding of likelihood of confusion".

Comparison of Trademarks