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Picasso family loses battle of car trademarks

Heirs of Spanish master Pablo Picasso lost a long-running fight on Thursday to force car maker DaimlerChrysler to drop "Picaro" as a trademark for vehicles, complaining it sounded too similar to the artist's name.
/ Source: Reuters

Heirs of Spanish master Pablo Picasso lost a long-running fight on Thursday to force car maker DaimlerChrysler to drop "Picaro" as a trademark for vehicles, complaining it sounded too similar to the artist's name.

The Picasso estate registered the name of the cubist artist as a trademark for vehicles in 1998. It is currently licensed to French car maker Peugeot Citroen.

But when Daimler then registered "Picaro" as a trademark, the family sued. Despite losing their case in one European court, they took it all the way to the European Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union.

The European Court of Justice on Thursday upheld the view that Picasso was so well known, it would be hard to confuse his name with another one even if both can be found on vehicles.

Daimler's marketing staff may still want to reconsider the Picaro trademark -- in Picasso's native Spanish, the word means a rogue or a rascal.

The Peugeot-Citroen Picasso is a popular multi-purpose vehicle. Daimler has yet to use the trademark.