VOLVO et SOLVO se ressemblent (ouf!)

CFI – December 2, 2009 – VOLVO/ SOLVO

The European Court of First Instance decided on December 2, 2009, that the marks VOLVO (word and word & device trademarks covering products of class 9) and SOLVO (in classes 9, 39 and 42) shown below were confusingly similar.

The Board of Appeal had previously regarded the signs as dissimilar because they differed in their first letters and script. The presence of a device also increased the overall differences for the Board. The Court annulled this decision to the extent that the aural similarity had been underestimated but maintained the low visual and conceptual similarity between the signs at hands.

What a strict appreciation! With 5 letters long and 4 shared letters the marks should have brought to more serious legal consequences in terms of similarity. Changing the first letter and displaying the sign in a stylized way is a too easy task to narrow so much one’s monopoly!

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