Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Greece: Green relief for pain

The multi-member Civil Court of Athens recently issued an interesting judgment regarding the criteria when comparing composite trade marks covering pharmaceutical products and consisting of words and coloured devices. The dispute in question referred to a main lawsuit filed against a Greek company regarding infringement of the famous trademark Aspiring. The plaintiff claimed that the colour combination of green and white with black lettering is widely recognisable by consumers as an essential element of its Aspiring product marking and that this combination is associated with the plaintiff. The infringing product was a pharmaceutical product for the relief of pain, antipyretics and analgesic which circulated in the market in a packaging bearing the colours green and white with black lettering and under a different word mark.

The adversary claimed that many other trade marks covering pharmaceutical products and namely analgesics circulate in the EU market in packages bearing the colour combination green and white, all of which are imported and circulate in Greece as well. Therefore this colour combination cannot be associated solely with the plaintiff.

The Court ruled that in the packaging of a product the dominant element is the word part and not the colour combination. Moreover it ruled that the colour green is selected for the packaging of analgesic products because according to psychological studies and behaviour studies, this colour has been linked in the public consciousness with the idea of pain relief and is related to the feelings the different colours consciously or subconsciously cause to consumers. In view of the above, the Court rejected the plaintiff's main action.

This decision is interesting because the Court when issuing its judgment adopted a scientific reasoning and raised the issue that exclusive trade mark rights cannot be asserted for certain colour combinations when they are subconsciously connected to a treatment. Moreover the Court also took into consideration the status of the infringing company being a well-known Greek pharmaceutical company.

Maria Kilimiris

Patrinos & Kilimiris

7, Hatziyianni Mexi Str.

GR-11528 Athens


Tel: +30210 7222906, 7222050

Fax: +30210 7222889

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Significant changes to the standard of law are unlikely, say sources, who note that some justices seemed sceptical that the parties disagreed on the legal standard
Sources say the High Court of Australia’s ruling that reputation is immaterial in trademark infringement cases could stop famous brands from muscling out smaller players
Members from both sides of the US House of Representatives wrote to USPTO director Kathi Vidal on Friday, March 24, expressing their concern about “patent thicketing.”
Charles Hoskin of Singaporean e-commerce platform Shopee, who made the jump from a luxury brand, says honest conversations and collaborations are key to combatting counterfeiting
Adam Williams speaks to Managing IP about the legacy of Brexit and why IP has sometimes got ‘lost in the noise’ at Westminster
Lawyers wish the latest manual had more details on Federal Circuit cases and that training materials for design patent examiners were online
Counsel are eying domestic industry, concurrent PTAB proceedings and heightened scrutiny of cases before institution
Jack Daniel’s has a good chance of winning its dispute over dog toys, but SCOTUS will still want to protect free speech, predict sources
AI users and lawyers discuss why the rulebook for registering AI-generated content may create problems and needs further work
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP