Impact of the verbal element of a word & device trademark

The European case law generally considers that the verbal part is the dominant element of word and device trademark, sometimes in a too strict and systematic policy.


On December 12, 2005, the OHIM ruled that these marks were liable to cause confusion for similar and identical goods of classes 29 and 30 because the figurative elements of the earlier mark only had a decorative function whereas the word CAMPAGNA was the chief identifier of the mark.

                                                    CASA CAMPAGNA  

(Community trademark application)                 VS.                                (Earlier trademark opposed)


In terms of proportions, the word CAMPAGNA was certainly not the element that most appealed to consumers. Moreover, the ending position of CAMPAGNA in the contested application and its evocative meaning regarding the products in question could have reduced the likelihood of confusion.

On January 10, 2006, these trademarks, covering identical and similar products in class 12, were considered dissimilar because the public would pay more attention to the word elements of the earlier mark than to the figurative ones as the representation of the cyclist could only be seen with some mental effort whereas word elements were immediately perceived.


(Community trademark application)      VS       (Earlier trademark opposed)

The proportion between the verbal and the figurative elements of the mark is again completely eluded.

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