Paris Court of Appeal - CAR&BOAT MEDIA v/ SNEEP

Decision date

2018-10-23

Decision No.

RG 18/04944

Nature

Trademarks

Country

France

Jurisdiction

Paris Court of Appeal

Parties

CAR&BOAT MEDIA v/ SNEEP

The Company CAR&BOAT MEDIA was represented by Arnaud CASALONGA, attorney, and by Audrey DANEL, attorney.

Issues:

  • - Use of the term “ARGUS” on a website to designate a service of vehicle sale rating
  • - Infringement action against ARGUS trademarks with request of provisional prohibition in a preliminary injunction
  • - Provisional prohibition rejected at first instance and on appeal

The Court of appeal of Paris confirms the first instance decision of February 22, 2018 rejecting requests of provisional prohibition made by the Company SNEEP on the basis of its trademarks ARGUS, and which it uses on its website www.largus.fr as in its newspaper entitled l’ARGUS.

The Company CAR&BOAT MEDIA was criticized for reproducing the trademarks ARGUS in the navigation path of its website www.lacentrale.fr, in the text of this website, in its mobile app on Apple Store, and in its source codes.

It has been held at first instance that the uses of the sign “ARGUS” by the Company CAR&BOAT MEDIA were made in its common sense and not as a trademark.

The likelihood of infringement has been rejected.

The Court of appeal confirms the first instance decision after having taken into consideration the meaning of the term “ARGUS” in dictionaries, and the use made by Internet users looking for a rating service about vehicles sale or purchase value.

The Court of appeal ruled that :

“The Company CAR&BOAT used the sign “ARGUS” on its website within the meaning of rating, and designates a service of vehicle sales value rating, and the public concerned, which is the one looking for acquiring or selling an automotive vehicle, and interested in knowing its value, will understand this use as designating a rating service and not as a reference to SNEEP’s trademarks.”

The terms “Argus” and “Cote” (i.e. rating) are held as being synonyms.


Paris Court of Appeal - CAR&BOAT MEDIA v/ SNEEP (in French only)

23 October 2018
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