PARAZEET recognized distinctive for antiparasitic goods for French consumers

OHIM Cancellation Board – February 2010 – PARAZEET

The OHIM was ceased of a cancellation demand against Community trademark PARAZEET n° 1358027 registered in class 5 especially for “preparations for destroying vermin; antiparasitic preparations, parasiticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc”

The ground invoked was the non distinctiveness as the term PARAZEET could be pronounced PARASITE by French consumers, which is a usual word for antiparasitic products.

The cancellation board made a detailed exam of the word PARAZEET and proceeded to an analysis of the pronunciation of the word PARAZEET by French consumers, that is actually quite surprising as it considered that :

–         There is no objective reason for French consumer to say the word with an English pronunciation, and that the consumers will pronounce the final EE as [è].

–         If ever the French consumer pronounces EE as a [I], it would be more precisely as [II], being then different from PARASITE.

–         The Office suggests that French consumer may pronounce the letter Z as [DZ], such as in the word ZEPPELIN …!

Finally, the Office stated that PARAZEET has a specific wording, which is different from PARASITE, and contains a Z, which is a rare letter, such as the double E.

The cancellation action was rejected.

Even though it might be possible to understand the reasoning of the Office as regards the original wording of PARAZEET, we assume with certainty, as French consumers, that PARAZEET and PARASITE would be pronounced exactly the same way.

French public is used to seeing English words with double E, such as common words MEET, SEE, FEET, GEEK, etc; and would certainly not pronounce neither letter Z [DZ] nor the word ZEPPELIN [DZE-PE-LIN].

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