Volkswagen lost a dispute against Baidu in Japan

car-3333775_960_720.jpgVolkswagen has recently lost an opposition against a word trademark application for “Car-pollo” for the following goods and services:

class 9 – navigation apparatus (GPS) for vehicles [onboard computers]; car video recorders; batteries for vehicles; battery charging devices for motor vehicles; electric locks for vehicles and others;

class 12 –  wheelbarrows; airplanes; vessels; bicycles; electric bicycles;

class 42 – automatic driving cars design;

The mark was filed by the Chinese company Baidu Online Network Technology Beijing Company Limited.

Against this application, the German company evoked its rights over POLO trademark in class 12.

According to Volkswagen, both signs are confusingly similar. The first part of the later mark is CAR which is a descriptive and not distinctive word for the list of goods and services at hand.

Apart from that, POLO trademark acquired a reputation in Japan due to its longstanding market presence in the country.

The Japan Patent Office, however, dismissed the opposition. According to the Office, both trademarks are dissimilar. The word CAR is descriptive whereas the term POLO means a game played on horseback between two teams. What’s more the POLLO part in the later mark has no dominant position.

Although the earlier mark is famous in Japan, the lack of similarity prevails the possibility of consumer confusion.

Source: Masaki MIKAMI.