LUXEMBOURG: Red Bull loses court ruling in Frisdranken Winters case
Red Bull accused Frisdranken of producing cans of energy drink bearing text such as “Bullfighter”
Red Bull has lost a challenge at the European Court of Justice over an alleged breach of its trademark by Frisdranken Industrie Winters.
In a dispute that has run since 2006, the Austrian energy drinks maker had claimed that the use of phrases such as 'Bullfighter' and 'Red Horn' on an energy drink brand produced by Frisdranken infringed its trademark rights. However, a ruling in Luxembourg last week concluded that Frisdranken did not use the protected trademark and could not have infringed it.
"A service consisting of the mere filling of cans bearing a sign protected as a trademark is not use of that sign which is liable to be prohibited," the court said in a statement.
"The service provided by Winters consists of the filling of cans and this service does not have any similarity with the product for which Red Bull's trademarks were registered," the court added.
A spokesperson for Red Bull declined to comment on the ruling, while no-one was available at Frisdranken when contacted by just-drinks today.
This month, Ray Rowlands of Drinksinfo Ltd revisits the energy drinks category to see what has been going on in the evolution of what has been the soft drinks industry's star performer in recent years...
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