Representing Finnish liquor store chain Alko in contesting similar trademarks
Käosaar has successfully represented the Finnish liquor store chain Alko Inc in a number of disputes before the Industrial Property Board of Appeal, the Harju County Court and the Tallinn District Court. Various Estonian liquor stores targeting Finnish consumers have attempted to register trademarks such as R-ALKO, E-ALKO, AlkoRalli and Alkopörssi in their name. All these include the element ALKO, which is a renowned trademark in Finland owned by Alco Inc. The disputes mainly focused on whether the trademarks were indistinguishably similar and whether the word “alko” had become common usage for the Estonian alcohol retail services. Both pre-trial procedure and court found the later trademarks to be similar to the ALKO trademark. The courts found that the common usage of the word “alko” had not been proven. As a result, the contested trademarks were denied registration.