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Successful defence of New Yorker’s trademark rights in Latvia

On 27 September 2019 the Polish company MS Trademarks Sp.z.o.o. (the Plaintiff) filed an application for revocation on the basis of non-use against the IR No. WO 706285 IQ in classes 18, 25 designated to Latvia. The contested mark is owned by Friedrich Knapp (the Defendant), who presides over one of Europe’s largest fashion companies New Yorker and IQ is one of the many sub-brands of NewYorker.

The Vidzeme District Court initiated civil proceedings in the case No. C30756419. In line with the court’s judgment of 24 March 2021, the application for revocation was rejected based on the following reasonings:

• The Defendant has proven genuine of the contested mark in relation to all goods in classes 18 and 25 according to the cumulative criteria of the place, time, extent and nature of use;

• Evidence which falls out of the relevant time period confirms the Defendant’s continuous intentions of genuinely using the mark in commercial activities;

• In response to the Plaintiff’s allegations on insufficient proof of use submitted by the Defendant, the court refers to the established case-law of Aladin T-126/03;

• Lastly, the court notes that the market of clothing and accessories in Latvia is saturated and NewYorker has only seven shops in Latvia, IQ being one of the many sub-brands. The court emphasises that the filed evidence especially on the mark’s frequency and extent of use is sufficient to prove genuine use as it also shows real commercial use.

The Defendant in this case was represented by the trademark attorneys Gunta Zariņa and Gatis Meržvinskis.

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