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Havel & Partners Represents Apple in Trademark Dispute

Havel & Partners Represents Apple in Trademark Dispute

Czech Republic
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Havel & Partners has successfully represented Apple in a dispute with the President of the Czech Republic's Industrial Property Office involving the trademark for the company's "Think Different" slogan in the Czech Republic.

According to Havel & Partners, the slogan "THINK DIFFERENT" has been associated with Apple since 1997, when founder Steve Jobs returned to the company.

According to Havel & Partners, the current dispute arose from the Industrial Property Office's assessment of the similarity of the Apple trademark to the "Tick different" trademark of the Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch, and the IPO's conclusion that there was no likelihood of confusion. That conclusion was then upheld on review by the President of the Office.

The decision of the President of the Office was subsequently challenged by Apple, which claimed that "the Office [had] erred in its assessment of the similarity of the slogans and that the application for registration of Swatch's "Tick different" trademark was not filed in good faith, was interchangeable with Apple’s trademarks, and thus unlawfully benefited from the reputation of Apple as a company having the world’s most valuable trademark."

According to the firm, the Municipal Court in Prague annulled the decision of the President of the Office, with "the court taking the view that the [Industrial Property] Office had insufficiently dealt with the assessment of the similarity of the conflicting trademarks," and "should therefore re-examine the whole matter and make an overall assessment of the likelihood of confusion."

The Havel & Partners team representing Apple consisted of Partners Frantisek Korbel and Ivan Rames, Counsel Katerina Stankova, and Senior Associate Tereza Hrabakova.

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

HAVEL & PARTNERS, attorneys-at-law, with offices in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Ostrava, has a team of 220 lawyers, tax advisors and 500 employees in total, is the largest independent law firm in Central Europe.

Our clients include large international companies, leading Czech and Slovak firms, including strategic state-owned companies and public sector authorities, as well as medium-size businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and investors. We advise approximately 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, and almost 50 of the Czech Top 100 companies. HAVEL & PARTNERS currently provides its services to a total of 2,000 clients. We have the most comprehensive international support available to both Czech and Slovak law firms. We provide legal and tax advice in 12 world languages in more than 90 countries around the globe. Up to 70 % of the transactions we deal with involve an international aspect.

HAVEL & PARTNERS was named the best law firm operating in the Czech Republic by the prestigious British rating agencies Chambers and Partners (2020) and Who’s Who Legal (2018, 2019). It is also the most successful law firm, providing the most comprehensive legal services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on the total number of all nominations and awards in all years of the Law Firm of the Year awards. The firm became the absolute winner of this competition four times in the last six years, receiving the main award Domestic Law Firm of the Year in the Czech Republic (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) and ranking as one of the most recommended law firms in all categories of law. Our company is also a three-time winner of the Law Firm of the Year award for Best Client Services (2015, 2016, 2019). In the field of M&A, HAVEL & PARTNERS is the best law firm in the Czech Republic based on the annual International Advisory Experts awards (2018, 2019). In Slovakia, it also won the prestigious global M&A Today Awards (2013–2018) for Mergers & Acquisitions six times in a row, and repeatedly won first place in the ranking by Lawyer International Legal 100 (2017, 2018). Prestigious international rating agencies EMIS DealWatch and Mergermarket have ranked HAVEL & PARTNERS among the leading law firms by the number of transactions completed in the entire CEE region since 2009. Based on annual awards of the Acquisition International magazine, HAVEL & PARTNERS has become the Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the M&A category in the CEE region.

Firm's website: https://www.havelpartners.cz/en/

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