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Red Bull outflanks Wings

December 2018. Turkish company Meridyen has been refused a European trademark registration for its Wings energy drink can. According to the Opposition Division of European Trademark Office EUIPO, the can infringes the trademark rights of drinks giant Red Bull’s ‘Gives you wings’ slogan.

Confusion

EUIPO concluded that it was the word ‘Wings’ that was the visually distinctive element of the Turkish energy drink can. And because the same word is also the most distinctive component in Red Bull’s ‘Gives you wings’ slogan, there was a risk that consumers would confuse the two.

Flying cow

In an effort to change EUIPO’s mind, Meridyen argued that in a previous case which had been fairly similar, EUIPO concluded there had been no infringement of the ‘Gives you wings’ slogan. The case had involved the device mark of a cow with wings, also for soft drinks. A good effort on Meridyen’s part, but completely non-comparable, EUIPO countered. Result: no European trademark for the Wings can.