First name, surname and names similarity

On September 27, 2007, the Board of Appeal ruled that the earlier trademarks JEAN DELATOUR were confusingly similar to the Community trademark
application for DELACOUR. The Board regarded the first name JEAN as largely used in the territories involved and then focused on the comparison between DELATOUR and DELACOUR. With only one different middle letter, the two terms were regarded as similar aurally and visually and as being intellectually both of French origin for consumers.
This approach is, in our view, quite open to criticism even if it complies with certain points/aspects of the case law. The association of JEAN with DELATOUR necessarily refers to a specific and identified individual who cannot be confused with DELACOUR which has no specific meaning and identifies no one.

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