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STJ cancels energy drink trademark registration formed by the term “Bull” .

The 3rd Panel of the Superior Court of Justice (“STJ”) cancelled the trademark registration for “Power Bull” to identify energy drinks due to the risk of confusion and undue association between the marks, since the consumers may be induced to believe that the products had the same origin1.

On the nullity lawsuit filed by Red Bull Gmbh, the lower court considered that the term “bull”, translated into Portuguese as “touro”, referred to the amino acid “taurine”, which evoked the idea of ​​the strength and ingredient of the drink. The court concluded that the term “bull” was not distinctive to identify energy drinks, and that the marks as a whole were sufficiently distinctive, with different packaging.

In its Special Appeal, Red Bull claimed that the expression “bull” was not generic nor related to the product, much less commonly used to designate its characteristics. The plaintiff also defended that the expression was created by the company as a distinctive brand in the beverage market.

The Reporter Justice Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva understood that, despite the fact that taurine is an ingredient of the drink, the relationship between the term “bull” and drinks does not arise from direct association. As a result, the 3rd Panel of STJ declared the nullity of the registration and condemned Power Bull to refrain from using the mark.

Special Appeal 1.922.135

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