SOCIETE JAS HENNESSY ET COMPAGNIE lost an opposition against trademark application for INESSY in classes 30 and 33 in Japan.
According to HENNESSY the mark applied for was too similar to a family of earlier registered trademarks HENNESSY in Japan. The argument for this was the fact that both signs used one and the same suffix NESSY. No other registered trademark in the country use the this suffix for the goods in class 33.
The company stressed the well-know character of its mark, in the field of Cognac production, which has been gained throughout the years around the world including in Japan.
The Japan Patent Office, however, disagreed dismissing the opposition in its entirety.
According to the Office, both sign were different from visual point of view because they start with different prefix – I and HEN.
From phonetic side, the marks were dissimilar too because they entire sounding was different thanks the the different prefix.
Both trademarks have no specific meaning for the consumers in the country.
Taking into account all of that, the Patent Office concluded that there is no risk for consumer confusion between the marks.
Source: Masaki MIKAMI (Marks IP)