On April 13, 2021, the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (STJ) unanimously decided for the provision of the Special Appeal No. 1,922,135 filed by Red Bull, regarding the improper association of its trademark Red Bull with the Power Bull trademark.
STJ ultimately decided to annul the registration of the Power Bull trademark before the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (BPTO) based on item XIX of article 124 of the Brazilian Industrial Property Law (Law No. 9,279/1996), which prohibits the registration of trademarks composed by reproduction or imitation, in whole or in part, of a registered trademark, to indicate an identical, similar or equivalent product or service, likely to cause confusion or association with another's trademark. Despite the lack of visual similarity between such trademarks, according to STJ's understanding, the Power Bull trademark would be a partial reproduction of the Red Bull trademark to identify similar products, which may cause confusion before the public or risk of improper association.
This decision reinforces the importance of the protection and monitoring of trademarks, in order to ensure the investment and efforts spent by their owners on the creation, development and dissemination of their trademarks, in addition to guarantee trademark protection to ensure the trademark owner the exclusive right to use its trademark, this measure also serves to avoid unfair competition and passing-off.