On August 24th, 2011, the French Trademark Office upheld the similarity between the two following word and device trademarks:
(Prior mark) and (Contested trademark)
This decision is very surprising (on the good side!) notably due to the differences existing between the word elements (the letter E vs the term MYLUX) and between the features of the device parts/elements.
Indeed, despite the arguable differences, the French Office considered that the trademarks at issue were confusingly similar due to the strong visual similarities as both signs consist in a winged or flying horse, presented in a black profile view and in a leaping position towards the same direction.
Concerning the differences between the word elements, the French Examiner considered that the letter E within the prior mark would not be perceived by the French consumers and thus is not sufficient to decrease any risk of confusion between both signs.
Finally, in order to exclude the differences existing between both signs, the French Examiner has invoked the fact that the visual differences are minor and would not be perceived by the French consumer.
Given that this was an internal matter, we are all the more proud of this positive decision as this was quite a borderline case.
Jérémy GIACOPAZZI – Inlex IP Expertise