April 2019
Peppa Pig beats Tobbia
Especially for young parents, Peppa Pig became an important part of their lives for many years. Peppa is a brave piglet that takes your little ones (and you) on her adventures. Many hours were spent watching Peppa Pig playing hide and seek, losing her first tooth, and celebrating her birthday.

As for many popular characters, the value is enormous and therefore protected by a trademark registration. The creators of the Peppa Pig character obtained a trademark registration for her image in the EU in 2012.

Obviously, they were not too happy with an EU trademark registration for the similar character “TOBBIA”, and filed a declaration of invalidity. It became a long-term process for the creators of Peppa Pig, but with a happy ending.

The applicant for TOBBIA argued (in short) that the image did not represent a female pig, but rather “tends to humanize another animal: the male tapir”, and that the word elements in the marks at issue differ to such an extent there is no overall similarity. The Court, however, was not convinced.

In the opinion of the Court, the average consumer would immediately associate the signs at issue with a pig, and as regards the word element in each of the two marks, it will probably be understood as the first name of the two respective characters. Hence, the differences were not sufficient to rule out a likelihood of confusion on the part of the relevant public. All’s well that ends well.