TRADEMARKS | The General Court denies registration of the sign “MYBACON” for meat substitutes

On 29 November 2023, the EU General Court (GC) handed down its decision in case T-107/23 (Myforest Foods Co v EUIPO) concerning the registrability of the sign “MYBACON” for meat substitutes. The GC found that the sign was deceptive and thus rejected its registration. The GC recalled that potential deception undermines a trademark’s purpose of indicating product origin. In the case at hand, despite the applicant’s arguments, the Court found that the prefix ‘MY’ (which stands for ‘mycelum’ – a meat substitute) did not mitigate the risk of consumer confusion as the average consumer would not understand that the prefix ‘MY’ refers to mycelum. However, while a sign may not obtain trademark protection, its lawful use is a separate issue. Indeed, the rigidity of trademark law exceeds that of unfair competition and food law, potentially permitting the use of a deceptive trademark. However, the GC did not address this aspect in this particular case.

Newsletter n. 93 – February 2024