Circle K wins over OK in legal action concerning a new logo - Horten assisted Circle K

Horten has assisted Circle K in a legal action against OK. OK claimed that Circle K's new logo infringed the company's trademark rights to OK and was therefore contrary to the Trademark Act. The Maritime and Commercial High Court found that Circle K's use of the new logo did not infringe the Trademark Act or was contrary to the Marketing Practices Act.

Within the last couple of months, many former Statoil and Shell stations have change their look.  This change is due to the fact that Statoil sold Statoil Fuel & Retail, including all service stations in Scandinavia, the Baltic countries, etc., to the global enterprise Couche-Tard/Circle K in 2012, including the condition that the use of the STATOIL brand was to cease within a few years.

In September 2015, Couche-Tard/Circle K stated that all the group's approx. 15,000 service stations, shops, etc. were to have a joint brand in the future, including a joint logo in two different designs, which was to be used on the station's pylons, flags, products and in the marketing.

Request for an interim injunction

In November 2015, OK a.m.b.a. stated that the company believed that one version of the new logo (the "K logo") infringed the company's trademark rights to OK, and that the use was contrary to the Marketing Practices Act.

Circle K dismissed the claim, and a few months ago, OK requested the Maritime and Commercial High Court to issue an interim injunction against the continued use. If an injunction had been issued, this would for instance have had the consequence that Circle K would have to take down the K logo from all service stations in Denmark.

The court's statement

The matter was heard by the Maritime and Commercial High Court, and partner Jens Jakob Bugge from Horten assisted Circle K. After the legal arguments, the court made an oral statement that the use of the K logo did not infringe OK's trademark rights and that Circle K had not violated the Marketing Practices Act.

As the matter had been mentioned very intensely in the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet, Circle K requested that an actual ruling was made. In connection with the oral statement, the court stated that an actual ruling would have the same content - that Circle K wins. The ruling is expected at the beginning of September and may be appealed against to the Eastern High Court.

contacts

Jens Jakob Bugge

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