London Associate Paul Sweeden was quoted by Law360 discussing the impact of a European Union General Court ruling regarding Hasbro’s refiling for the MONOPOLY trademark prior to the end of the five-year period following registration in which a trademark is open to revocation on grounds of non-use, a practice known as “evergreening.”
The court noted that it was the company’s intentions, combined with its actions, that put its trademark in jeopardy — a distinction Sweeden said will provide some relief to trademark owners potentially facing similar challenges to their trademark registrations.
"Even though competitors can file invalidity actions on the basis of bad faith, the General Court won't support that unless there's evidence out there that can show the refiling of the trademark was in fact circumventing the non-use provisions," Sweeden said. "And since there's an element of proof required in a bad faith claim — there's a presumption of good faith — it would still remain extremely difficult for a competitor to prove bad faith on the part of a trademark owner."
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