Amicus Brief

Case C-112/21, Meering Touringcars Amsterdam B.V. v. V.O.F. Classic Coach Company and Others

Published: August 16, 2021


Court of Justice of the European Union

Our Position

An earlier and lawfully acquired unregistered (trade name) right of mere local significance (in this case, a trade name) can co-exist with a later registered trademark. The earlier unregistered right does not constitute a barrier to the registration of the later trademark, and the owner of the later trademark cannot object to the older unregistered right. To rely on its earlier unregistered local right, there is no requirement that the holder of the earlier right is entitled to bar the later trademark.

Furthermore, it is relevant whether the trademark holder has an even earlier unregistered right (to the same sign) and whether the trademark owner is nevertheless estopped from invoking that even earlier right due to acquiescence by the trademark owner of the later unregistered local trade name right.