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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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Fribo v. Friboi : likelihood of confusion

In case T-324/09, the Court confirmed the Board of Appeal’s decision finding likelihood of confusion. As regards genuine use, while it is true that the sole use of a mark internally by a group of companies does not constitute genuine use, the evidence proved that the goods are produced by the proprietor [of the earlier mark] and subsequently placed on the market by Plusfood UK as confirmed by the brochures and price lists of wholesalers and given the large quantity of FRIBO products mentioned on the invoices, and (undated) brochures, there is no question of token use in this case.

Use of the earlier mark has been proved for ‘precooked or manufactured [meat]goods, preserved and cooked vegetables´ which are similar to ‘meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, fruit sauces’ but not to the contested goods ‘eggs, milk and milk products; edible oils and fats’.

There is a high degree of visual and phonetic similarity between the signs at issue, and they have no meaning for the relevant English consumer which will not be aware of the fact that ‘fri’ is an abbreviation of a Portuguese word ‘frigorífico’ or that ‘boi’ is the Portuguese word for ox.

* For Formula 1 and likelihood of confusion fans, check out this article from IPKat.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 20.58
Tags: General Court, Fribo, Friboi,
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