Coexistence agreement in Brazil

Over the last years, the Spanish brewery Aqua&Terra has capitalised on the current craft beer boom in Europe by successfully producing and distributing its star brand “Veralinda”. Taking into account that the Latin American market offered a good opportunity for the commercial consolidation of its brand, Aqua&Terra decided to export and distribute its beer there, starting in Brazil.

In this context, Aqua&Terra filed a trade mark application in Brazil, seeking protection for the “Veralinda” brand under the class number 32 of the Nice Classification (beers and non-alcoholic beverages). However, during the process, Aqua&Terra found out that Garota, a Brazilian company engaged in the production and marketing of grape distillate, filed an opposition on the grounds of their prior trade mark, “Veralindo”, registered under the class 33 (alcoholic beverages).

As a result, the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) rejected the application. They considered that the coexistence of both trade marks would lead consumers of alcoholic drinks to associate the business origin of “Veralinda” and “Veralindo”, not only because the marks are similar, but also because the products are related.