Prefixes and Intellect: the good combination against imitation

On February 13, 2008 the European Court of First Instance (ECFI) ruled that the marks URION and ATURION were not confusingly similar for pharmaceuticals goods

The ECFI first defined the pertinent public for pharmaceuticals sold on prescription as being composed of professionals and patients with a high degree of attention. This complies with the earlier cases TRAVATAN (2005), ALREX (2005), GALZIN (2006) and RESPICUR (2007).

The weak visual resemblance due to the reproduction of the element URION was counterbalanced by the phonetic dissimilarities as the second mark will be pronounced A-TURION. Conceptually speaking, URION (for a diuretic) refers to the notion of urology whereas ATURION had no evocative meaning for cardiovascular pharmaceuticals. The attack letters are consequently rather determinant even when the previous sign is entirely reproduced within the second sign. The OHIM had in this context rendered two decisions in 2007 – GENOPHARM vs./ HEMOFARM and FINONIL vs./ TIMONIL – where the conceptual comparison and the differences due to the prefixes prevailed over the remaining resemblance.

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