Obelix/ Mobilix

In OBELIX vs./ MOBILIX (October 27,2005), the European Court of First Instance first denied similarity because of the wide formulation « electrotechnical apparatus and instruments, electronics » whereas a specific protection of telecommunication apparatus and instruments could have been easily obtained by the opponent when reciting the list of products.
The Court even goes further in absurdness when considering that even if telecommunication equipment falls within the category of « apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound and/or images » which is part of the official title of Class 9, that part of the class title (‘telecommunications’) is not claimed in the earlier right.
This implies that telecommunication equipment was not intended to be covered. The Court approach clearly renders necessary the adoption of a recitation of products and services as wide as possible so as to optimize the defense of the mark. Nevertheless, the Court Decision is quite doubtful as it would lead to deny similarity when one product/service falls within the scope of a broader category of products / services eventhough it is unanimouslyconsidered as a similarity approach.

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