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Insights October 23, 2020

James Bond’s trademarks admitted as well-known in Latvia; the Board of Appeal invalidates “BOND” trademark filed by Grigorius Holdings

PĒTERSONA PATENTS – AAA LAW has successfully represented the interests of the U.S. company Danjaq LLC in opposition proceedings before the Industrial Property Board of Appeal of the Republic of Latvia. The opposition was directed against a word mark BOND (reg. No. M 73 654) registered for goods in classes 9 and 25, and services in classes 35 and 41. The owner of the contested mark is Grigorius Holdings, SIA, which is related to the infamous trademark pirate Michael Gleissner.

In these opposition proceedings Danjaq LLC was represented by trademark attorney Kristīne Ostrovska.

The opposition relied on:

  • Trademarks that are well known in Latvia and reputable in the European Union – including JAMES BOND, JAMES BOND 007;
  • Grounds of likelihood of confusion between the contested trademark and the opponent’s marks.
  • Allegation, that the contested trademark BOND is registered in bad faith;

Given the evidence before it, the Board of Appeal acknowledged the following arguments of Danjaq LLC as reasonable:

DŽEIMS BONDS is a well-known name in Latvia for a fictional movie character, which has been proven by countless publications, advertisements and significant movie revenue measurable in millions of dollars. Thereby the Board of Appeal recognized: JAMES BOND; BOND.JAMES BOND; JAMES BOND 007; BOND and 007 as well-known trademarks in Latvia with respect to the following goods: movies, recordings of these movies on data carriers and entertainment services in the field of cinematography.

The Board of Appeal acknowledged, that evidence submitted before it is sufficient to affirm that EU trademarks (including JAMES BOND, JAMES BOND 007 and 007) are endowed with good reputation in the EU (to the extent specified in the decision).

The Board of Appeal agrees with the opponent, that the contested mark BOND can harm the reputable EU trademarks. Consumers may perceive the signs as interconnected, thus resulting in the proprietor of the contested trademark unfairly profiting from the use of BOND.

In the present case, the goods and services of the contested trademark were found to be identical or similar to those of the earlier trademarks. Consequently, there is a high risk, that consumers may perceive these signs as interrelated. Also, when comparing two signs, namely JAMES BOND and the contested BOND, they are phonetically, visually and sematically similar because it is considered that the verbal part “BOND” is the central element.

Finally, the Board of Appeal upheld the argument that the contested registration has been applied for in bad faith for goods and services relating to movies, movie production, movie demonstration and distribution.