Oppenheim has successfully represented Hell Energy in a trademark dispute before the EU General court regarding the protection of its Hell trademark for coffee-related products.
Hell Energy Magyarorszag Kft is a manufacturer of soft drinks and has recently, according to Oppenheim, "extended its product portfolio with canned coffee products and filed a trademark application with the EUIPO for the sign Hell for coffee-related goods." According to the firm, the "EUIPO refused the application for all goods except for Malt coffee extracts claiming that Hell in German means light, which can be understood by the average consumer as a reference to 'light roast' coffee." This decision was then confirmed by the Boards of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
The EU General Court annulled the decision of the Boards of Appeal and, according to Oppenheim, highlighted that "the association between Hell and coffee via helle Rostung needs intellectual effort, which means that there is no obvious and direct link between the goods and the sign. Therefore, Hell does not enable the relevant public to immediately perceive in the sign, without further thought, as a description of coffee or one of its characteristics."
Oppenheim’s team was led by Partner Aron Laszlo.