Dispute on the apple/swatch slogan “Think Different” and the importance of trademark protection
Judgment of 08.06.2022; Ref. T-26/21; T-27/21 and T-28/21
In the following judgment of EUIPO in joined cases T-26/21, T-27/21 and T-28/21, the Luxembourg judges ruled in favour of Swatch. The watch manufacturer had applied to the European Trade Mark Office in 2016 for revocation of the word mark “Think different”. It claimed that the associated Apple trademarks for computers, terminals, keyboards, hardware, software and multimedia products had not been put to use in relation to the goods concerned for an uninterrupted period of five years.
Apple had registered “THINK DIFFERENT” as a European Union trademark in 1997, 1998 and 2005. In 2016, Swatch claimed to the EUIPO that Apple had not made genuine use of the marks for a continuous period of five years – specifically, from 14 October 2011 to 13 October 2016 – and applied for a declaration of revocation of trade mark protection.
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The EUIPO Cancellation Division declared the challenged marks revoked in August 2018, with effect from 14 October 2016. Apple’s appeals against these decisions were subsequently dismissed by the Fourth Board of Appeal.