Berlin Zoo wins battle over polar bear Knut
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Berlin Zoo will keep the rights to Knut’s name with the court rule. AP photoBerlin Zoo will keep the rights to the name of Knut, the cuddly polar bear that captured hearts worldwide, an EU court ruled Sept. 16.
The Luxembourg ruling was a victory over Knut IP Management Ltd of Britain, which had sought the trademark for “Knut - der Eisbaer” (Knut - the polar bear) for a range of merchandise.
“Cute Knut,” born in December 2006, shot to global fame after he was abandoned by his mother. When he died in 2011 from a suspected brain seizure, fans left flower bouquets, written tributes and photos of the bear at his former den. The General Court of the European Union said it had settled the zoo’s dispute with the British company which had in 2007 applied to registered the Knut trademark for clothing, shoes and sports articles and other goods.
The court said Berlin Zoo had argued there was a likelihood of confusion with its Germany-registered trademark “Knud,” a slight variation on the bear’s name, for products including books, games, toys and dolls. The court agreed “there exists indeed a likelihood of confusion in German-speaking regions.”