Kellogg lost an opposition against a UK brewery

pexels-photo-459280.jpegKellogg Company lost an opposition in The UK. The case concerns the trademark application for FRUIT LOOP filed by the local brewery Fuller for class 32 – Beer, ale, lager, stout and porter; non-alcoholic beers.

Against this mark, Kellogg invoked its rights over the early registered trademark with reputation FREET LOOPS for class 30 – Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee; flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and non-frozen confectionery; honey, treacle; yeast, bakingpowder; salt, mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices.

The opponent claims that it has reputation under the above mark in respect of “preparations made from cereals”. It claims that use of the mark in suit would take unfair advantage of its mark and use of it would ride upon the coat tails of the opponent’s reputation and marketing efforts which would provide an unfair advantage. Use of the mark in suit would also dilute the distinctiveness of its mark, and the association of the opponent’s product with use on alcoholic beverages is likely to cause detriment to its reputation.

The Patent Office disagreed dismissing the opposition. According to the Office, there was only a low level of similarity between both signs for dissimilar goods.

The key moment in the opposition was the claimed reputation of the earlier sign. According to the Office, it wasn’t proved sufficiently which to show that the mark had been used for a prolonged period in the UK in a way that consumers are aware for its high level of reputation.

Source: WIPR.

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Adidas won a trademark opposition in Japan

great-torii-of-miyajima-1425480_960_720.jpgAdidas won an opposition against the following application for a figurative trademark, applied for Class 25 by a Chinese company:

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Against this sign, Addidas opposed its following earlier national trademark in Japan in Class 25 too:

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According to the German producer, both signs are confusingly similar because their visual elements create a similar impression in consumers. What’s more, Adidas’s mark has a reputation which increases, even more, the risk of confusion.

The Opposition Board coalesce with Adidas concluding that there is a possibility for consumer confusion because both signs are visually similar for identical goods and all of that is supported by the earlier trademark’s reputation.

Source:  Masaki Mikami, MARKS IP LAW FIRM (JAPAN) 

HBO lost a trademark case regarding “Game of Thrones”

sunset-3988885_960_720HBO lost an opposition against the following trademark application, in class 34, in the UK:

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The opposition was based on an earlier EU trademark “Game of Thrones” in class 34 too. HBO claimed that the later mark is confusingly similar trying to take advantages of the “Game of Thrones” reputation amongst the consumer.

According to the UK Patent Office, however, there is no base for confusion. Although both signs are similar to some extent from a visual and phonetic point of view, conceptually they are completely different. The claimed reputation concerns TV show and according to the Office, there is no direct link to the goods for which the trademark application is applied for.

Source:WIPR.

The UK Wagamama won a trademark despite

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The UK restaurant chain for Japanese cuisine Wagamama won a trademark dispute against an application for a new trademark Wakayama applied for prepared meals, instant meals” and other food products “all consisting principally of noodles.

According to the restaurant chain, this trademark was confusingly similar to their one, what’s more, it could take advantage from Wagamama reputation on the market.

According to the applicant, there was no conflict between both signs because their trademark covers different letters.

The UK IPO has issued a decision stating that the later mark can create a consumer confusion due to the high level of visual and aural similarities in the presence of identical and similar goods. The different letters in the applied for trademark cannot overcome this negative outcome.

Source: WIPR.

Asics lost a lawsuit before the EU Court regarding its logo

sneaker-1024978_960_720The well-known Japan producer of  footwear and sports equipment Asics lost a lawsuit before the European Court regarding an opposition filed by the company against the following figurative European trademark for classes 18, 24 и 25:

download (1).pngAgainst this mark, Asics submitted the following earlier EU and Spanish marks in classes 18, 25 и 28:

download.pngThe EUIPO rejected the opposition considering the signs as not confusingly similar. The decision was appealed but the European court upheld it.

According to the to Court:

It should be noted that the mark applied for is composed of four thin straight black lines with a serrated outline. Two of those lines, placed in parallel, go upwards diagonally from left to right and cross, in their middle, two other shorter parallel lines, going downwards diagonally from left to right.

As regards the earlier marks, they are composed of four thick black lines. Two straight lines go downwards diagonally from left to right, while moving slightly apart from each other, and cross two converging curved lines which go upwards from left to right. The convergence and crossing of the straight lines and the curved lines give the earlier marks, which may be perceived as the letter ‘x’ superimposed on the letter ‘v’ or on the character ‘’, an impression of movement.

Thus, even if the consumer does not recall details such as the size or thickness of the lines, the overall impression between, on the one hand, thick lines and curves forming a letter ‘x’ superimposed on a character ‘’ and, on the other hand, thin straight lines that can be perceived as a character ‘#’ inclined backwards to 45 degrees is so different that the consumer will not make a connection between the signs at issue solely on the basis that they are both composed of parallel lines crossing two other longer lines.

In the light of the foregoing, the Board of Appeal found correctly that the overall impression given by the marks at issue was different, which leads to the conclusion that there is no visual similarity.

The Asics’ argument that the signs are similar even more when the way how Asics’ marks are used on some of their products is taken into account was dismissed because the only thing which is relevant for the comparison is the way how signs are registered.

The well-known status of the earlier marks was not be considered too because the Court found that marks weren’t similar enough.

The full text of the decision can be found here.

Aston Villa lost an opposition in Japan

Aston Villa v Stoke City - Premier LeagueThe UK football club Aston Villa lost an opposition against the following trademark that was applied for classes 12, 25, 35:

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Against this mark Aston Villa evoked its following earlier mark in class 25:

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According to the Japan Patent Office, both signs are not confusingly similar because the earlier mark includes the abbreviation AVFC besides the lion depiction. Furthermore, the lion character is widely used in heraldic which leads to lower distinctive power. On top of that, there are some differences between the lion depictions themselves.

Source:  Masaki MIKAMI

Apple lost a battle against Swatch in Singapore

pexels-photo-982660Apple failed to stop a trademark application for ‘Tick different’ applied by the Swiss company Swatch in Singapore for class 9 and 14.

The opposition was based on an earlier mark  ‘Think different’ owned by Apple for class 9. The US company argued that the Swatch mark is confusingly similar and filed in a bad-faith.

The Patent Office, however, wasn’t impressed and dismissed the opposition. According to the Office, both signs are not similar due to the differences in their first words which convey different meanings. On top of that, some of the goods weren’t similar too.

Source: WIPR.