GOTCHA got you

Judgment T-169/09 is for those of you who still doubt that the Community practice is abandoning the automatic prevalence of word parts over device elements for trademarks consisting of words and device.

The General Court actually made it clear when upholding that the mark below was dissimilar with the word mark GOTHA by censoring the Board of Appeal for deciding that the verbal part GOTCHA would have a higher impact on the public than the figurative element. The approach also (but not only) relied on the point that the visual level of comparison is of greater importance for the public when it comes to clothes which were the products at hands and the specific configuration of the GOTCHA trademark where the “T” could be seen as the stem of the rose device.

Considering that GOTCHA and GOTHA only diverged through one single letter, this decision is a striking illustration of the evolution which has emerged since the QUICKY and LIMONCELLO decisions. It is also worth noting the systematic prevalence of the visual comparison that the Community practice applies for products of class 25.


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