ECJ trademark case18 June 2005
In what must be one of the more curious legal conundrums at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), judges have rejected an attempt by Italian leather manufacturer Sergio Rossi to scrap the EU-wide registration of a trademark that it actually owns. What makes the case odder still is that Rossi had already secured this registration in an appeal against an earlier rejection of their SISSI ROSSI mark for leather, imitation leather and leathergoods. This appeal overturned a decision by the EU's trademark gatekeeper, the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trademarks and Designs), that it could be confused with another mark MISS ROSSI. Which is all very well, but Sergio Rossi had previously acquired this MISS ROSSI mark by buying the company (Calzaturificio Rossi) opposing their original SISSI ROSSI trademark application. ECJ officials could not explain why Sergio Rossi did not abandon the case when they gained EU-wide trademark rights over both marks, which - thanks to the latest decision - they retain.