VĀVERĪTE vs. Бабаевская Белочка

On December 29, 2014 the Russian company "Confectionary Concern Babaevsky" (hereinafter also the Applicant) filed an application to the Administrative District Court on revocation of the decision of the Board of Appeal of the Latvian Patent Office of October 3, 2014 adopted in opposition proceedings No. ApP/2014/WO 1 139 738 and ApP/2014/WO 1 139 738-Ie.


With the contested decision the Board of Appeal had satisfied the opposition filed by A/S Laima (represented by PETERSONA PATENTS) against AS "Confectionary Concern Babaevsky" on invalidation of the Latvian designation of the international trademark registration No. WO  1 139 738 "Бабаевская Белочка".


Upon the filed application the Administrative District Court initiated administrative proceedings and A/S Laima was invited as the third party in these administrative proceedings. 


The Applicant argued that the Board of Appeal had wrongly interpreted and applied the provisions of the Law on Trademarks and Indications of Geographical Origin and that has led to adoption of an unsubstantiated decision. The Applicant held the opinion that the contested trademark "Бабаевская Белочка" is not a confusing imitation or translation of the trademark "Vāverīte" owned by A/S Laima and the consumers will not associate the trademark "Бабаевская Белочка" with A/S Laima. 


Having heard the explanations of the parties and evaluated the evidence of the file, the Court concluded that the application of AS "Confectionary Concern Babaevsky" is not grounded and shall be rejected, and the decision of the Board of Appeal shall be left valid. The Court considered that the opposing trademark "Vāverīte" is a well-known mark in Latvia with respect to confectionery (especially candies) and this trademark has been used in the territory of Latvia for a long time. Taking into account that the word "Белочка" which is included in the contested trademark "Бабаевская Белочка" is a direct translation of the word "Vāverīte" (meaning "squirrel" in English), the Court concluded that the trademark "Бабаевская Белочка" reproduces (imitates) the well-known trademark "Vāverīte" of A/S Laima.