Lacoste has won a legal battle with Polish competitors Mocek and Wenta over its iconic crocodile logo.
The General Court of the European Union ruled in favour of the French sportswear firm on Wednesday (September 30) and said the logo Mocek and Wenta sought to register was similar enough to Lacoste’s to cause confusion.
The court said the two signs have at least an “average degree of similarity” as both show a type of crocodile.
“There is a likelihood of confusion, given that the general public is likely to believe that the goods bearing the signs at issue come from the same undertaking or from economically-linked undertakings.”
It added: “The court considers that the representation of the Mocek and Wenta caiman might be perceived as a variant of the representation of the Lacoste crocodile, the latter being widely known to the public.”
Lucy Harrold, IP consultant solicitor at Keystone Law, said the stregnth of Lacoste’s brand led to the victory.
“Lacoste is no stranger to trademark battles over its iconic brand. In a previous fight in the UK Courts in 2011, it failed to prevent a company registering the word alligator for articles of sports clothing.
“This time it has snapped up a victory in the EU courts preventing a crocodile logo similar to its own from being registered for clothing, shoes and leather goods. The decision shows that it is more than possible to monopolise particular imagery in your sector - but only if your brand is as strong as Lacoste’s.”