PR device mark constitutes trademark infringement of RR device mark

Rolls-Royce PLC and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd vs. PR Chokolade A/S, the Maritime and Commercial Court

Rolls-Royce manufactures aeroplane engines and cars, which for more than 100 years have been sold under the trademark Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce owns the device marks RR and RR ROLLS ROYCE, which were first registered in Denmark in 1936 and 1976. The device marks have been used since 1904 and are registered in a large number of countries around the world.

PR Chokolade was founded in 1996, and manufactures and sells chocolate, which mainly is sold business-to-business. PR Chokolade commenced use of the PR trademark in 1999, and immediately after becoming aware of this use Rolls-Royce objected thereto.

Two market researches were carried out during the litigation and on the basis hereof the Court found that the RR trademark has a reputation in Denmark, and further stated that even though the use of the RR trademark in Denmark is very limited – and perhaps exactly because the use of the trademark is Denmark is very limited - the trademark has become associated with prestige, luxury and quality.

The Court found that the PR trademark had a high degree of similarity with the RR trademark and that the use of the PR device mark constitutes an improper use of the RR trademark’s distinctiveness and reputation.

PR Chokolade was ordered to cease use of the PR device mark and to pay compensation to Rolls-Royce with DKK 250,000 (approx. EUR 33,300).

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