The General Court of the EU has rejected two appeals by the Foundation for the Protection of the Traditional Cheese named Halloumi against the use of word marks BBQLOUMI and GRILLOUMI by companies in Bulgaria and Sweden, in two decisions issued on Wednesday.
According to the decision, the General Court rejected as unfounded all pleas submitted by the applicant in both cases. More specifically, in the case relating to the use of the word mark BBQLOUMI the court found that “the Board of Appeal’s assessment of the distinctive character of the earlier mark is not vitiated by any error”, while in the case relating to the use of GRILLOUMI the General Court found that “the Board of Appeal was fully entitled to find that there was no likelihood of confusion”.
The two cases had been launched against the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the two companies on February 24th and March 30th 2022 by the Foundation for the Protection of the Traditional Cheese named Halloumi (which was set up in 2013 by the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus Dairy Products Manufacturers Association).
The first case (T-106/22) was brought against EUIPO and M. J. Dairies, based in Bulgaria. The company had asked for BBQLOUMI to be registered in May 2014, and its application was accepted in September of the same year. The Foundation originally appealed seeking cancellation of the registration in September 2019.
The second case (T-168/22) was brought against EUIPO and Fontana Food based in Sweden. The Foundation had originally launched opposition proceedings against the registration of GRILLOUMI in February 2017.
According to a press release, it is possible to request the annulment of General Court decisions in front of the Court of the EU, only based on legal grounds, within two months.