Nivea prevails in passing off claim against South African dupe

Nivea prevails in passing off claim against South African dupe

THE WHAT? Beiersdorf-owned Nivea has prevailed in an intellectual property suit brought against a ‘dupe’ brand in South Africa, according to a report published by the International Law Office.

THE DETAILS In Koni Multinational Brands v Beiersdorf, Nivea was able to establish that rival Connie Men ‘passed off’ its Nivea Men shower gel product. A majority opinion found that the similarities in colour, bottle shape, label shape and font were sufficient to establish passing off.

THE WHY? Nivea Men’s longstanding reputation in the country and 50 percent market share was cited as among the main reasons that the Beiersdorf-owned brand was able to prove passing off. However, the dissenting judgement wove a note of caution through future proceedings – with the International Law Office advising brands to register product labels as well as word marks.

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