Mont Blanc lost a trademark opposition in Japan

The German company Montblanc-Simplo GmbH last an opposition in Japan in relation to its famous trademark Mont Blanc.

The case concerns the following trademark application filed by a Japanese company for class 25: ‘Medical scrubs; nurse dresses; nurse overalls; nurse pants; nurse uniforms; nurse caps; clothing; nurse shoes; footwear’ 

Against this application an opposition was filed by the German company based on the following earlier mark for pens:

The company claimed a reputation in relation to pens and other writing instruments.

The Patent Office dismissed the opposition in its entirety. Although the Office acknowledged that Mont Blanc has had a strong reputation for almost 100 years in Japan, the goods in both marks were completely different. According to the Office it is highly unlikely consumers to be confused between these marks taking into account the lack of relation between the above mentioned goods in class 25 and different types of pens which earlier mark is known for.

The interesting moment here is why Montblanc-Simplo GmbH didn’t rely on its identical trademarks related to fragrance or watches. These goods have much more in common with the goods in class 25 than writing instruments.

Source: Masaki MIKAMI, Marks IP Law Firm