DWF-RCD news

Wallapop, advised by RCD, obtains a favorable ruling in proceedings for trademark infringement and unfair competition

The company will be able to maintain its trademark and to use the term "Walla!" In their campaigns. The Litigation team of RCD - Rousaud Costas Duran law firm has advised Wallapop throughout the proceedings

The Mercantile Court number 2 of Barcelona has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Unipreus SL against Wallapop SL for trademark infringement and unfair competition. In their lawsuit, the plaintiff cited various registrations of the tradmark "Wala" and requested that Wallapop cease the use of the trademark "Wallapop" and any sign or product name consisting of the designation "Walla!" or the like. In addition, Unipreus alleged that the use of the trademark "Wallapop" and expressions like "Walla!", "Walla Summer" or "Walla Singles" violated the law on unfair competition.

The argument presented by RCD, which has been fully accepted and reflected in the court judgment, has been based on two points. First, that there is no violation of the Trademark Act because both parties are active in radically different sectors of the market and therefore the requirements of similarity or identity services are not met, leaving no likelihood of confusion. Secondly, based on the same facts, RCD argued that it would be impossible to accumulate shares for trademark infringement and unfair competition.

Regarding the trademark infringement, the Court observed that it is not the same type of business (an online model versus on-site model, selling new items vs. used items, direct sales vs. intermediation in the sales, the sale of only sportswear and casual clothing vs. the sale of all types of items). The Court decision also held that there was no risk of confusion, as the plaintiff´s trademark does not have a strongly distinctive characteristic, recognizing that “Walla!” is a commonly used expression of surprise and the Walla company is not well known in the market. Lastly, the Court stated that the trademarks of all parties should be compared as they are registered, including their graphic elements (such as a cloud, for example, in Wallapop´s case), which minimizes any risk of confusion.

Regarding the court action of unfair competition, the sentence also accepted the defendant´s argument in the sense that the Unfair Competition Act, as complimentary legislation, can only be applied in those cases where not enough protection is achieved by granting a trademark. Furthermore, and going into greater detail, the sentence also did not recognize any unfairness in Wallapop´s conduct. For these reasons, the
the Court rejected all petitions from Unipreus, permitting Wallapop continue to use their brand as normal.

RCD has an experienced team of litigators specialized in litigation on trademarks, patents and designs and disputes over ownership or intellectual property rights and on infringement of the rights to honor, privacy and image.

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