GCC vs./ KCC

On September 14, 2006, the Second Board of Appeal denied likely hood of confusion between the earlier mark GCC and the application KCC for goods in the electrical industry.

The Board took the view that the two marks were acronyms leading oneself to pay attention to each letter separately, so that the difference in one letter had been sufficient enough to deny visual similarity. Phonetically, the difference of sounds of the letters G and K led to the same conclusion.

This decision perfectly fits the main Community case law tendency to protect acronyms only against identical signs.

The Board further justified its position by the fact that « every manufacturer has an interest in promoting their goods by using a short and punchy acronym that will stay in the mind of the consumer ».


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