Laima vs. Saldā Laime
On January 5, 2016 the Administrative District Court reviewed the administrative case, which was initiated upon the application filed by the company SIA “NML Group” on revocation of the decision of the Board of Appeal of the Latvian Patent Office of April 20, 2015 adopted in the opposition proceedings No. ApP/2014/M 66 403-Ie.
With the contested decision the Board of Appeal had satisfied the opposition filed by AS “LAIMA” against the national trade mark registration “Saldā Laime” No. M 66 403 owned by the Latvian company SIA “NLM Group”. In this case the company AS “LAIMA” was represented by the trade mark attorney, lawyer Gatis Meržvinskis of the law and patent bureau “PĒTERSONA PATENTS”.
Upon the filed application the Administrative District Court initiated administrative proceedings and AS “Laima” was invited as the third party in these administrative proceedings.
The applicant argued that the Board of Appeal has 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 considered that the trademark “Saldā Laime” is not an imitation or reproduction of the trademark “LAIMA” of AS “LAIMA”, moreover, the trademarks are not visually, phonetically or semantically similar, consequently there does not exist a possibility that these trademarks would cause any mutual associations.
Having heard the explanations of the parties involved in the matter and evaluated the evidence filed in the matter, the Court concluded that the appeal against the Board of Appeal’s decision is not well-grounded and shall be rejected. The Court acknowledged that the verbal element “Laime” is very similar to the element “Laima” that is included in the opposing trademarks and is the dominant in these marks. Besides, the Court also recognized the trademark “LAIMA” as well-known in Latvia and admitted that the contested trademark “Saldā Laime” is a reproduction of this well-known mark.
Taking into account these circumstances the Court rejected the appeal of SIA “NML Group” on revocation of the Board of Appeal’s decision of April 20, 2015.