The bubble has burst for ‘Pawsecco’ as UK PDO block upheld
In a world where anything goes, who are we to stop our four-legged friends enjoyed a few beverages after a long week.
With pets becoming part of the family more than ever, there is no limit to the products you can now buy. This includes the equivalent of your favourite tipple for your pooch.
Pet drinks company, Woof and Brew, attempted to protect the term ‘Pawsecco’ as a trade mark in the UK for edible pet treats in 2017.
However, this was short lived as the application was opposed by Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco, the Italian organisation responsible for the protection and promotion of Prosecco’s Protected Designated Origin (PDO).
Like Champagne, the PDO relates to a certain type of grapes in a certain region of Italy, to allow a product to be called Prosecco.
The opposition stated that there would be confusion between the mark applied for and their earlier EU trade mark for ‘Prosecco PDO’. In addition, it was claimed the applied for mark would dilute and tarnish their reputation, by taking an unfair advantage.
Prosecco has become the drink of choice for many across the UK, so it is no surprise they want to ensure their market does not go flat.
Woof and Brew argued back stating the products do not contain alcohol and therefore would not cause confusion.
The UK Intellectual Property Office did not agree as they confirmed that trademark applications which contain or consist of a PDO, but do not comply with the product specification, will be refused under EU law, noting that ‘Pawsecco’ does not contain or consist of the PDO Prosecco.
It also agreed that Woof and Brew would have a commercial advantage due to the connotation to the PDO and this would be unfair and would not promote fair competition.
Therefore, the bubble has burst for the pooches who like a bubbly tipple, and the application was refused on the basis of the successful opposition.
By Ellis Sweetenham