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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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General Court: IBSolution v. IBS (fig)
In  Case T-533/12,  IBSolution GmbH applied for the registration of the sign IBsolution. IBS AB opposed on the basis of earlier figurative CTM (IBS here bottom  right). Both signs were registered for identical or similar services in Classes 35, 41, and 42 b

The Opposition Division and Board of Appeal upheld the opposition, finding essentially, that the marks at issue were similar, in particular visually and phonetically, and held that, in the light of the fact that the most distinctive element of each of those marks, namely the letter group ‘ibs’, was identical, there was a likelihood of confusion in relation to the identical or similar services covered by those marks, despite the relevant public’s high degree of attention. Further ,there was a certain degree of similarity as a result of the identical pronunciation of the first two letters ‘i’ and ‘b’ appearing in both marks and a higher degree of similarity for the sector of the public which is not familiar with English and which would also pronounce the third letter ‘s’ identically. The Board of Appeal held, in that regard, that the earlier mark would be pronounced as the succession of the letters ‘i’, ‘b’ and ‘s’ and that the mark applied for would be pronounced either as ‘i-b-solution’, or as ‘i-b-s-solution’ by the English-speaking or French-speaking public, or also as ‘i-b-s-olution’ by the sector of the relevant public which is not familiar with English. The General Court dismissed the appeal.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 14.08
Tags: General court, likelihood of confusion, IBsolution, IBS,
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