Intellectual Home Legislation – European Trade Marks – Opposition to Registration of Trade Mark – Visible


The case of Castellani SpA v Place of work for Harmonisation in the Inside Industry (Trade Marks and Layouts) (OHIM) (Circumstance T-149/06) [2007], worried an opposition of a European Group trade mark. On the 25th of September 2001, the applicant filed an application to sign up a Community Trade Mark. The software was designed to the Office environment for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Types) (OHIM), and was carried out underneath Council Regulation (EC) No 40/94 (on the Local community Trade Mark).

The applicant sought registration for the figurative mark ‘CASTELLANI’. On the 4th of September 2002, a corporation named Markant filed a notice of opposition to registration of the trade mark on the grounds of a before registration. The corporation had registered the phrase ‘CASTELLUCA’.

The opposition referred to all the products included by the before registrations and was directed from all the merchandise in regard of which registration was sought – the chance of confusion on the portion of the public due to the similarity involving the previously trade mark and the trade mark sought and the items in dilemma.

The Opposition Division of OHIM rejected the opposition in its entirety.

As soon as the mark was regarded as, it was made the decision that the trade mark used for and the before mark had been visually, as effectively as phonetically dissimilar. In addition, the appropriate general public would not perceive any conceptual similarity in between the marks in dispute.

The opponent appealed towards this conclusion to the Opposition Division. The Very first Board of Appeal of OHIM annulled this selection of the Opposition Division and rejected the software for registration, obtaining that there was a probability of confusion among the trade mark ‘CASTELLANI’ and the before trade mark ‘CASTELLUCA’. Having said that, the applicant appealed, claiming that the Court docket of First Instance ought to annul the contested final decision. The applicant alleged a solitary plea of infringement of Short article 8(1)(b) of Regulation 40/94.

The Court held that when earning an in general evaluation of the marks at challenge the visible, phonetic, and conceptual discrepancies concerning the conflicting signals ended up sufficient, in spite of the identical mother nature of the items protected, to preclude the resemblances in between them supplying rise to a likelihood of confusion on the element of the typical German customer.

If was decided that the likelihood of confusion had to be assessed globally. Such assessment had to be designed according to the notion of the relevant public of the indicators and the products or services in issue. On top of that, the assessment had to consider into account all things pertinent to the instances of the circumstance, in specific, the interdependence of the similarity between the signs and in between the products and/or products and services designated.

The world-wide evaluation of the probability of confusion, as significantly as it involved the visible, aural or conceptual similarity of the indicators in question, had to be based on the in general effect offered by the indications, getting into thought their exclusive and dominant elements.

In this circumstance, the court observed that it was distinct that the figurative factors of the mark in dilemma would be perceived as an illustration of a castle. In the overall visual evaluation of the signals, the variation founded involving the word factors of ‘CASTELLANI’ and ‘CASTELLUCA’ was sufficient to rule out any visible similarity among the competing symptoms.

With regards to the phonetic comparison, the dissimilarities involving the indications, owing to the variations among the suffixes, had been sufficient for them to be distinguished aurally in German in spite of the reality that the prefixes ended up the exact same.

With regards to the conceptual comparison, the court docket felt that the regular German consumer was unlikely to affiliate the two marks in the similar way as with the term ‘Kastell’, so that the competing signals were conceptually very similar. On the other hand, the court docket also felt that the ordinary German customer was utilised to viewing a significant quantity of trade marks for wine whose names experienced the prefix ‘castel’ which would imply that the typical buyer would attach much less significance to the prefix and carefully examine the suffix.

Appropriately, the court docket made the decision that there was a conceptual variation amongst the two symptoms. As a consequence, the one plea elevated by the applicant had to be upheld and the contested decision was annulled.

© RT COOPERS, 2007. This Briefing Be aware does not present a in depth or comprehensive statement of the regulation relating to the concerns talked over nor does it represent authorized information. It is supposed only to emphasize normal problems. Specialist authorized suggestions ought to constantly be sought in relation to certain circumstances.


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