The General Court of the European Union has ruled in case T-44/20 Chanel v Huawei Technologies which targets an issue with figurative trademarks.
The case concerns the following European trademark application in class 9 filed by Huawei:
Against this mark an opposition was filed by Chanel based on the following earlier French trademark in class 9:
In addition, the company claimed a trademark with reputation for the following another French trademark registered for dissimilar goods:
The EUIPO dismissed the opposition founding both signs as not confusingly similar. The fact that they share two connected elements in circle is not enough in order confusion to be established. What’s more both mark are completely dissimilar from conceptual point of view.
The decision was appealed. According to Chanel these marks were similar at least to low degree as they are applied for and to an average to high degree when the Huawei trademark was rotated by 90 degrees.
The Court disagreed reminding that a trademark comparison has to take into account the way signs are applied for not the way how they will be used after that. The Court considered both marks as not similar. They have connected elements but in different arrangements – one in horizontal and another in vertical. In addition, conceptually they are different. The later mark can be perceived as the letter H while the earlier marks can be viewed as letters C.