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VF’s 7 For All Mankind Loses EU Top Court Trademark Fight

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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Jeans maker 7 For All Mankind lost a final bid to get the European Union trademark rights to its name after the EU’s top court ruled in favor of an Italian backpack manufacturer.

The EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg today dismissed an appeal by the company to get trademark rights across the 27-nation bloc for “Seven For All Mankind.” The ruling can’t be appealed.

The VF Corp. unit previously won the rights to the name in 2010 when the bloc’s trademark authority in Alicante, Spain, rejected a challenge by Italian company Seven SpA. The agency said there was no likelihood of confusion with the Italian company’s trademarks for the word Seven. A lower EU court later overturned that decision.

The EU General Court in 2011 ruled that “there is a certain overall similarity between the marks at issue” because the presence of the word Seven in the names “is not insignificant.”

That court, the region’s second-highest, “did not commit the error of law alleged by the applicant,” the Court of Justice ruled today, dismissing all points of appeal that were raised.

7 For All Mankind first applied in 2005 for the EU trademark to cover products such as jewelry, belts, suitcases and backpacks. Representatives for VF in Greensboro, North Carolina, didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment, or answer calls before regular office hours.

The case is: C-655/11 P, Seven for all mankind v. Seven.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Scinta at cscinta@bloomberg.net