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General Court:Volkswagen´s COMPETITION rejected on absolute grounds

In Case T-550/14 the General Court upheld OHIM's decision regarding the applied for mark COMPETITION  in classes 12, 28, 35 et 37 for cars and automotive related goods and services.

the sign is not distinctive for all the goods and services within the meaning of Article 7 , paragraph 1 b ) of Regulation No 207/2009. In particular this sign would be perceived as an indication of a particular category of goods , namely those that are adapted to the conditions of competition and therefore to extreme conditions , as well as services preparing vehicles for competition .

For the relevant English and French speaking public, the term "competition" is a common word, well-known, as claimed by the applicant itself, "in many contexts" by the relevant consumers. This term evidently indicates a product or service being in competition and, therefore, being of excellent quality. Thus, the "competition" term has a laudatory character of advertising nature, whose function is to highlight the positive qualities of products and services for the production of which it is used. Said term will be immediately perceived by the relevant public as laudatory message to promotional, indicating that the goods and services have for consumers, an advantage in terms of quality compared to competitive products and services (se judgment of July 3, 2003, Best Buy Concepts / OHIM (BEST BUY), T-122/01).

Regarding the "motorized land vehicles; vehicles, motor vehicles; buses; trucks; caravans; tractors; motorcycles; mopeds; omnibus ", included in class 12, it is necessary to consider that the sign COMPETITION vehicle a laudatory message that aims to highlight the positive qualities of these products, such as their high performance level, their robust nature, as required in competitions, and therefore, also, that they are adapted to extreme conditions. The vehicles for the competition, for example in motor racing, are faster and stronger than other vehicles. In addition, the mark does not contain any element which, beyond its obvious promotional meaning, enable the relevant public to retain easily and directly as a mark indicating the undertaking whose vehicles concerned come from.

Contrary to what the applicant claims, the term constituting the trade mark is not clear and has no semantic depth that would prevent the relevant public to make a direct connection with these products or related services.



Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 14.16
Tags: General court, absolute grounds, competition,Volkswagen ,
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