Use it or lose it!

The EU General Court has dismissed an appeal against the revocation of a trade mark registered in respect of various building materials, on the ground that the proprietor had not, in the five years since registration, demonstrated genuine use of the trade mark in the EU in relation to the goods for which it had been registered.

The invoices incorporating the trade mark produced as evidence of use were of relatively low value when compared to the proprietor’s overall volume of sales of the goods concerned. It followed from case law that the smaller the commercial volume of the exploitation of a mark, the greater the need for the proprietor of the mark to produce additional evidence to dispel any doubts as to the genuineness of its use.

However, the additional evidence produced by the proprietor in no way adequately compensated for the low sales volume represented by the invoices bearing the mark. In particular, the mark did not appear on the extracts from the proprietor’s website and the catalogues produced did not allow the conclusion to be drawn that the goods appearing in them had been marketed under the contested mark during the relevant period

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