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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Patricia Covarrubia

Argentinean lionesses do defend well not only on the field

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The Argentinean Division II of the National Chamber for Federal Civil and Commercial upheld the ruling made in a lawsuit where the trade mark ‘las leonas’ was opposed to.

The party involved in the case was the Argentinean Confederation of Hockey on Grass and Track and the ruling authorized the team to use the trade mark "las leonas" for some of their clothing. The case was brought by the right holder of the trade mark ‘leonine’ used in shoes and sandals considering that the trade mark ‘ las leonas’ could cause confusion in the consumers eyes.

However, one of the chambermaid alleged that the name ‘las leonas’ was already a household name, gained by the female hockey team due to their fame and popularity and the use of 'las leonas' was extended to products marketed under the team’s name. He continues adding that there is a certain level of recognition and acceptance by the general public and so potential buyers of the brand ‘las leonas’ would not fall unto some confusion as to the source of the product.

In this regards, Judge Alfredo Silverio Gusman said: "The framework proposed by the plaintiff has a clear distinctive character that gives it enough merit. As such, I consider that this in itself provides a significant data for the differentiation of the words in dispute.” He explained that the lack of a conceptual element can produce confusion, but this also can contribute, if present in one of the trade marks, as an appropriate way to distinguish it – or as in this case both of the marks have a proper concept. To my English speaker, in the present case the word ‘las leonas’ is a noun in plural -name given to the female lions; while ‘leoninas’ is an adjective which refers to lionesses and which implies something that is exorbitant, excessive and in law can be used to describe a contract in which all benefit is attributed to one party.

The information was reported in several newspapers in Argentina -- see here, here and here.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia