Property, intangible

a blog about ownership of intellectual property rights and its licensing

Wish There Was More Story

A few days ago there was some cryptic news about a trademark dispute over the PUMA marks.  The press release says this:

Sportlifestyle Company PUMA herewith declares that the former Spanish license holder Estudio 2000 S.A., which owned several PUMA trademark rights, has been obliged to vest these to PUMA according to the arbitration ruling. . . .  According to the arbitration ruling, the vesting of the trademark rights is subject to a one-time payment of up to 98 million Euros to Estudio 2000 S.A.

I’m not familar with the Spanish trademark database, but did find a number of registrations that included the word mark PUMA with a design (many of them very primitive) owned by Estudio 2000 S.A.  It looks like the classic situation where a distributor appropriates the manufacturer’s trademark for itself.  What’s curious is that, while the arbitrator gave ownership of the marks to PUMA, PUMA has to pay a pretty hefty amount to Estudio 2000 S.A.  I’m curious under what theory PUMA owes Estudio 2000 S.A. any money at all.  I’d love to hear anyone’s insight.

PUMA will appeal the arbitrator’s decision.

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