Swedish Match Emerges Victorious in Trademark Dispute Against Guantanamera over “DUO”
Swedish Match, a Swedish manufacturer of snus, and moist snuff, has emerged victorious in a trademark dispute against Guantanamera, a Cuban cigar company, over the use of the mark “DUO.” The ruling was issued by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
The dispute started when Swedish Match applied to register the mark “General DUO” in the EU for its line of snus and moist snuff products, which the company described as having two flavor components. Guantanamera, known for its high-quality Cuban cigars, opposed the registration, arguing that it had a prior trademark for the word “DUO” registered in 2005 in both Spain and the United Kingdom.
On December 11, 2020, the EUIPO ruled in favor of Swedish Match, finding that there was no likelihood of confusion between the two marks. The decision was based on a number of factors, including the fact that the two marks were used for different products, and that the word “DUO” was a common term used in the tobacco industry to describe products with two flavor components or flavors.
What it Means
The ruling means that Swedish Match can now proceed with its plans to register the mark “General DUO” in the EU for its line of products. This also serves as a warning to Guantanamera and other companies to do their due diligence before opposing a trademark application, as it can be a costly and time-consuming process.
In the world of trademarks, it is essential to be proactive in protecting your intellectual property. As this case shows, even seemingly common words such as “DUO” can be registered as trademarks if used in a distinctive way. So it is essential for businesses to conduct a thorough trademark search before using any word or mark, to avoid any possible trademark conflicts.
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On December 11, 2020, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled in favor of Swedish Match in a trademark dispute against Guantanamera over the use of the word “DUO.” The EUIPO found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the two marks and that Swedish Match could proceed with the registration of the mark “General DUO” for its line of snus and moist snuff products. This ruling serves as a warning to companies to conduct a thorough trademark search before opposing a trademark application, as it can be a costly and time-consuming process. #BUSINESS