The world well-known toy manufacturer LEGO lost a trademark dispute against the following trademark application filed in Japan for class 28 – cat toys:
Against this application, LEGO invoked its Lego trademark for class 28 and claimed an acquired reputation amongst Japanese consumers.
The Japan Patent Office agreed that LEGO is a well-known trademark in the country for many years a conclusion supported even by the fact that half of the schools in Japan used Lego toys for educational purposes.
Nevertheless, the Office dismissed the opposition stating that both signs are not confusingly similar. The Lego’s argument that CATTY is descriptive terms as the first part of the later mark, was rejected.
According to the Office, the other reason for lack of confusion was the fact that the goods target different manufacturers, consumer audience and distribution channels.