Donald Trump's IP company (DTTM Operations LLC) was successful in defending a non-use revocation action filed by a German individual against a TRUMP registration in Class 43 (hotel, restaurants, etc.).
Most of the evidence submitted showed use in Scotland, or was from UK sources (e.g. The Telegraph), during a period prior to 1st January 2021.
The EUIPO highlighted that:
- use in the UK prior to the end of the Brexit transition period constituted use “in the EU”; and
- it is sufficient that the trade mark was genuinely used for only part of the five year period.
On this basis, it was concluded that the proprietor had proved the presence of its services in two different countries within the EU – Ireland and, until 31/12/2020, Scotland – locations which are “reputed in the world of leisure activities and holidays”.
Consequently, the time and place of use of the contested mark have been properly documented.
From 2026, it will no longer be possible to rely on use within the UK to defend non-use actions in relation to EU trade marks. It will be interesting to see whether Trump's use in Ireland will be sufficient to maintain its rights in the EU.
In its decision, the EUIPO said: “The proprietor has shown use of the mark in relation to the relevant services for a sufficient period of time. Although it has not filed accounting evidence as such, there is information relating to the running of hotels, with reviews from customers covering a long time span.
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