EU court allows Galileo name for satellite system
A European court on Wednesday upheld the European Commission's right to use the Galileo name for its satellite navigation project.india Updated: May 11, 2006 00:28 IST
A European court on Wednesday upheld the European Commission's right to use the Galileo name for its satellite navigation project.
The Luxembourg-based Court of First Instance turned down a demand by Galileo International Technology to ban the use of the name. "The complainants have not established that the commission's use of the term hurts their trademark rights," the court said. Galileo International Technology, the airline reservation system, owns a number of trademarks incorporating the word Galileo. It filed suit to prevent the EU from using the word in its project, which is designed to rival the US GPS system.
Galileo requested the court either to prohibit the commission from using the name and pay euro 50 million ($64 million) in damages or alternatively to pay the sum of euro 240 million ($306 million) in compensation.
But the court said that there exists "no risk of confusion" between the Galileo airline reservation trademark because the commission was not selling any services from the satellite system. In addition, the court said that "in choosing the Galileo name to designate their brands, products and services, the plaintiff could not ignore that they were inspired by the first name of the famous Italian mathematician, physician and astronomer, one of the largest personalities in European scientific culture." The plaintiffs "exposed themselves to the risk" of a trademark dispute, the court concluded.