Case Law: Case C-251/95, Sabel BV v Puma AG, 11 November 1997, E.C.R. 1997, 1-6191

5 Colum. J. Eur. L. 135 (1998)

Marta Pertegás Sender. Center for International and Foreign Law, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Directive 89/104/EEC – Approximation of laws relating to trademarks – Interpretation of Likelihood of confusion, which includes the likelihood of association.

Appreciating whether a sign is to be denied protection because of its similarities to an earlier existing trademark involves a certain degree of subjectivity. The appreciating task becomes considerably more difficult when it must be based on a rather ambiguous Directive provision implemented in different ways by the member States. It is therefore logical that the first case in which the Court of Justice was requested to interpret the notion of the likelihood of confusion which includes the likelihood of association in the context of the Trademark Directive gave rise to considerable expectation in several Member States.