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WEDNESDAY, 3 AUGUST 2011
Ergo v Urgo
In cases T-220/09 and T-221/09, the General Court upheld the findings of likelihood of confusion between earlier Community trademark URGO and applied for marks ERGO and ERGO GROUP for identical goods in Classes 3 and 5.
The Court reviewed carefully the analysis carried out by the BoA and found that although the Board erred in some aspects of the visual and phonetic comparison, it ratified the overall conclusion of the similarity of the signs. Visually, for the sign ERGO GROUP, the term GROUP must be considered as having a weak distinctive character, so the words ERGO and URGO are visually similar. From an aural perspective, ERGO in English will be pronounced as the word ‘ergonomic’ and URGO as the word ‘urge’ so there is a quasi-identical phonetic similarity. Finally from a conceptual point of view, ERGO is a Latin word meaning “thus” or “consequently” existing in several languages, including English, as an abstract word with a legal or philosophical connotation. However, it is not commonly used or well-known by the average consumer, which is the relevant public. Therefore, the Board rightly found that there is no conceptual difference to counterbalance the similarities between the trademarks in question.
Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 09.01
general court, likelihood of confusion,ergo, urgo,
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