Benelux Opposition Case eBay v/s Sportbay – When the repute of a trademark shows its limits…

The decision taken on September 07, 2015 by the Benelux Office (full decision here) in the opposition proceedings filed by eBay Inc. against the Benelux trademark application N°1245888 “Sportbay” shows the limits of a famous trademark.

Although well-known trademarks may under certain conditions claim wider protection for uncovered products and services, the Benelux Office has considered that the repute of “eBay” could not prevent the registration of the trademark “Sportbay” for products and services which are not protected by the trademarks “eBay”.

Despite the fact that a certain level of similarity between the signs “eBay” and “Sportbay” has been outlined, the BOIP considers that the risk of confusion between both signs remains limited to identical goods and services.

As a consequence, the trademark “Sportbay” will be registered in classes 22, 25, 28 as well as for services in class 35 which are not protected by the trademarks “eBay”.

Nathalie Cailteux