(CN) – A company can infringe on a competitor’s trademark even when it’s clear that the imitation product is not the real thing, Europe’s highest court ruled. It found that a pair of British companies devalued the trademark of international fragrance company L’Oreal by using similar marks and packaging.
The Court of Justice found that the British manufacturers created “an association in the mind” with L’Oreal’s products, leading to an unfair advantage.
The court also ruled that the imitators cannot use the trademarked companies’ names in comparison lists.
“The advantage gained by an advertiser as a result of such unlawful comparative advertising,” the court ruled, “must be considered to be an advantage unduly taken of the reputation of the mark.”
L’Oreal holds trademarks on Tresor, Miracle, Noa, and Anais-Anais. Malaika and Stratton are the British firms that market the imitation fragrances.