0370 270 6000

The informed user is clarified as Pepsi’s pogs fail to appeal

27 October 2011

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has followed the Advocate General’s opinion by dismissing an appeal against the General Court’s ruling that Pepsi’s design registration for “pogs” was invalid.

The design was previously ruled invalid because it did not create a different overall impression on the informed user than an earlier Promer design. A key facet of Pepsi’s appeal was that the General Court had incorrectly defined the “informed user” and his level of attentiveness.

The ECJ disagreed with Pepsi and stated that informed user lies “somewhere between … the average consumer… who need not have any specific knowledge and who, as a rule, makes no direct comparison between the trade marks in conflict, and the sectoral expert, who is an expert with detailed technical expertise”.

Although this is a welcome clarification, this case concerned a very simple design, and it seems likely that the courts will continue to grapple with this concept in less straightforward design fields.

Related opinions

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up