Zippo Manufacturing Company (ZMC), announced that it has been granted a preliminary injunction in Germany against Cygnet UK Trading Ltd., a Lorillard subsidiary, preventing Cygnet from using the “blu” brand name for e-cigarettes sold in that country.
The Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main agreed with ZMC that the “blu” e-cigarette brand creates a likelihood of confusion with the ZMC’s European Union Community trademark “BLU”, used in connection with its line of high performance, precision butane lighters and fuel. The court found the confusion was due to the high degree of similarity between the marks, an existing similarity between the parties’ respective goods and the ZMC BLU mark’s “at least” average degree of distinctiveness.
ZMC’s action in Germany and the resulting preliminary injunction against Cygnet is part of ZMC’s ongoing, global effort to protect its worldwide portfolio of its BLU trademarks. ZMC has commenced proceedings to oppose applications to register, or to cancel trademark registrations, for the “blu” e-cigarette brand in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the EU. Sweden has already rejected outright Lorillard’s application to register a trademark for “blu.”