Unilever files opposition to a well-known trademark
After an application for the word trademark Lavomatic was published, Unilever swiftly filed opposition to the registration. The application was made under Class 9 of the Nice Classification (apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity, among others).
Unilever alleges that the trademark application could not be registered according to Art 136 of the CAN Decision 486 (the Andean Common Intellectual Property Regime). This article establishes that trademarks that are identical or similar to one previously registered, as well as those reproducing a notorious trademark, cannot be registered.
Unilever is the owner of the trademark Lavomatic in Class 3, which relates to bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use, cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations, among others. Consequently, the Columbian PTO stated that, when comparing the products, no direct or indirect relationship would cause consumers to be confused, since they will be able to identify and individualize one from another and realize that the products belong to different companies.
However, Unilever requested its trademark to be declared well-known and filed evidence to prove that. This consisted in the investment of $2,000 million from 2011 to 2013 on advertising and promotional activities and the revenues for products with the trademark Lavomatic, of $11,876 million in 2011 and $29,000 million in 2012.
After analyzing said evidence, the PTO ruled that Lavomatic by Unilever is an established trademark for the identification of laundry detergents and thus, the application of the trademark in Class 9 was rejected.