European Blow for HelloFresh
September 2020. The popular brand HelloFresh is under fire in Europe. On 13 August, the Board of Appeal of the European Trademark Office decided that the HelloFresh logo will not be registered for a large number of foods and drinks. Reason: the older Czech trademark Hello objects.
Hello stops HelloFresh
The decision of the Board of Appeal confirms the earlier decision of the European Trademark Office of December 2019: HelloFresh is too similar to the Hello beverage brand of the Czech Linea Nivnice. This company owns an earlier trademark registration of Hello in the Czech Republic.
The drinks from the Hello brand
Linea Nivnice also opposed the European registration of a second variant of the HelloFresh logo (with a lemon in the background). A verdict is expected in these proceedings soon as well, and it is obvious that this trademark will suffer the same fate as the logo in the special lettering.
The registration of the logo on the left will probably soon suffer the same fate as the trademark on the right
The decision leaves HelloFresh with a big problem. Although the company has been able to keep its European registration for a large number of food products, it is certainly very difficult if you are not allowed to use the trademark for drinks and juices and products that come close to it. The question is whether this is workable in practice for HelloFresh.
The case shows once again how vulnerable a European trademark registration can be. Only one European country needs to object (in this case the Czech Republic) and the entire EU registration will be knocked down. In this respect, it is always useful to check, prior to registering a European trademark, whether there is any potential conflict in some remote corner of the EU.