ONSE sport drink Dispute concerning alleged trademark infringement

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We successfully represented Onses Finland Oy before the Finnish Market Court in an exceptionally extensive dispute concerning alleged trademark infringement and unfair business practice.

Our client, Onses Finland Oy, is a Finnish sports drink company and the owner of the sports drink brand ONSE. In the spring of 2023, the Polish beverage company OSHEE Polska Sp. z o.o. filed legal action against our client, alleging that the ONSE trademarks and product packaging infringed the OSHEE trademarks. The plaintiff’s secondary claims concerned alleged slavish imitation of the OSHEE sports drink packaging and exploitation of the reputation of the plaintiff. The plaintiff based its suit on registered trademarks as well as allegedly established and reputed figurative and three-dimensional trademarks.

The Market Court rejected all of the plaintiff’s claims. The Market Court held that the marks invoked in the suit were neither established nor marks with a reputation in Finland. As regards the registered trademarks, the Market Court found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the OSHEE and ONSE trademarks.

As to the secondary claims, the Market Court held that the sports drink packaging used by the plaintiff was a normal beverage bottle, the design of which was partly determined by functional factors. The Market Court also found that there were several blue sports drinks available on the market and that the plaintiff’s product was not the first blue sports drink on the market. The plaintiff failed to show that its product packaging was original or well-known to the average consumer at the time of the launch of our client’s ONSE sports drink product, and the Market Court thus rejected the claims on slavish imitation and exploitation of reputation. The Market Court ordered the plaintiff to pay all of our client’s legal costs with statutory interest. The judgment (MAO:280/2024) is not final.