On January 8, 2007, the Second Board of Appeal regarded these marks as different. The signs are unequal but short in length and only the trademark POLARIS includes a figurative element.
The Board retained the difference in the last syllable as significant. Intellectually, POLAR refers to the Earth pole, whereas POLARIS has no particular meaning. In our opinion, the signs are highly similar and the role conferred by the Board to the figurative element is disproportionate. Also, even if the two marks refer to banking services, the Board’s assertion that the public would associate these marks to banking services is not convincing.