Additional step in the comparison of word and device trademarks

ECJ – September 3, 2009

The Court of Justice of the European Community (ECJ) ruled on September 3 that there was a likelihood of confusion between the trademarks below. The opposition Division and Board of Appeal indeed first found them dissimilar but the Court of First Instance disagreed and upheld a likelihood of confusion. 

The ECJ gave huge importance to the figurative elements of the marks, holding that the average consumer normally perceives a trademark as a whole and does not analyze its various details. The shape of the label, the position of the word element, the curved banner at the top of the label, the image of the woman and the decorative elements surrounding the image were regarded as similar in both marks. For the Court, the overall visual impression between the marks was similar and their word part regarded as accessory in the comparison process


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