Red Bull saves the Bull
December 2018. Red Bull has succeeded in halting the Benelux trademark registration of the words Red de Boel (a pun on ‘save the day’) as a trademark. Red de Boel had been submitted by Rob Hoogland BV as a trademark for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
In its defence, Rob Hoogland BV said it was unaware it had committed any wrongdoing. The Red de Boel trademark had not, it claimed, been filed for energy drinks and also focused on a completely different target group from that of Red Bull. Moreover, the difference in meaning between the words Red Bull and Red de Boel (‘save the day’) ensured there was no danger of confusion, Hoogland argued.
While admiring Hoogland’s arguments, the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property nevertheless concluded that the two trademarks looked very similar and were being used for the same kinds of products. It therefore turned down Red de Boel’s application.