NEW ZEALAND – SUPREME COURT REVOKED THE REGISTRATION OF LACOSTE TRADEMARK

NEW ZEALAND – SUPREME COURT REVOKED THE REGISTRATION OF LACOSTE TRADEMARK

Caution: use trademarks as they have been filed!

The Supreme Court of New Zealand has revoked the national trademark n. 70068, which is a variant of the popular crocodile-logo and includes the world “CROCODILE”, on grounds of the owner not having made genuine use of it. Following a series of conflicts between Lacoste and Crocodile Garments Ltd, over the use of the crocodile-trademark, the French enterprise acquired the mentioned trademark n. 70068 from Crocodile Garments Ltd in 2003. Next, Crocodile International PTE Ltd – a company of the Crocodile Garments group – applied for the revocation of the trademark registration, stating that this particular graphic version had not ever been used in the exact form of the filing.

               

In its defense, Lacoste argued that it had used trademarks – composed of crocodile figures – that differed in appearance from trademark n. 70068, but that, nonetheless, this use did not alter the “distinctive character” and the “central idea and message” of the original one. The Supreme Court rejected this argument, declaring the revocation of trademark n. 70068, concluding that there are significant visual differences between the trademarks in use and the trademark n. 70068.