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May 7, 2008
Audi looses brand infringement proceedings vs. FC Schalke 04
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Jena.  The protest of Audi AG against the trademark rights of FC Schalke 04 in its club crest “S04” was overruled by the decision of the German Patent and Brand Office (DPMA) in Jena on April 11th, 2008.  Audi AG had reprehended that danger of confusion existed between the infringing “S04” brand and its older brand Audi „S4“.

In the proceedings, FC Schalke was able to demonstrate successfully that no such danger could be ascertained in any way, and could therefore rebut the arguments of the opposing party in its entirety.  In view of the Club's attorneys, both brands did not meet any of the criteria required to establish danger of confusion.

In conclusion, DPMA fully assented to this view and stated with regard to the conflicting trademarks that “omission of the “0” in the infringing brand is beyond consideration, particularly because “S04” is referring to the well-established football club “Schalke 04” that at no time ever has been referred to as “Schalke 4”, and that even in the future will continue to be tagged with the “0”.

In the proceedings, FC Schalke 04 e.V. was counseled and represented by Rechtsanwalt and Solicitor Theo Paeffgen and Rechtsanwalt Christian Eustermann from Paeffgen Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in Bonn.










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