Austria: Schoenherr enforces rights of well-known brand Jägermeister against discount private label before Supreme Court
Schoenherr has obtained an EU-wide preliminary injunction before the Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof, OGH) against the imitation by a discount private label product on behalf of the manufacturer of the herbal liqueur Jägermeister. The preliminary injunction enforces Jägermeister's rights arising from its well-known trademarks and on the grounds of unfair exploitation of its reputation.
The courts, up to the Supreme Court, considered the design elements of the product used by a discount private label, i.e. the colour combination and Fraktur lettering on an orange banderole as well as the depiction of a deer's head, to be inadmissible product imitation. The main reason given was that the imitation product is conspicuously based on Jägermeister's well-known brand and design elements, and this leads to a mental association and exploitation of reputation.
"This decision of the Supreme Court once again confirms that well-known trademarks and well-known product get-ups are protected against imitation. It can often be observed that an association with a well-known product is aroused via important product design elements. The Supreme Court has made it clear here in its reasoning that this is difficult to justify, even if the imitator applies its own brand, which can also be well-known," said Schoenherr intellectual property partner Christian Schumacher.
The Schoenherr team which achieved the decision of the Supreme Court consisted of Christian Schumacher (partner) and Birgit Kapeller-Hirsch (attorney at law), both specialised in trademark, design and unfair competition law.