Heineken Italy lost a trademark case T‑378/17 before the General Court of the EU, which concerns a company’s attempt to register the following EU trademark for classes 32 and 33:Against this application, an opposition was filed by the Spanish company La Zaragozana, SA based on an earlier Spanish trademark CERVISIA AMBAR for class 32 – beer.
Initially, the EUIPO upheld the opposition due to the similarity between the word parts of the marks in the presence of similar and identical goods.
The Board of Appeal, however, annulled this decision stating that the signs are not similar because the visual elements in the later mark create a difference. What’s more the word part in the mark applied for was barely legible.
The General Court revoked this decision accepting that both trademarks are confusingly similar. The reasons for this is that the word part in the later mark can be read by the consumers and the fact that visual elements cannot outweigh the word once in such an assessment.