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CLASS 46


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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Birgit Clark
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FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2011
General Court: AYUURI NATURAL v AYUR

In Judgment T-313/10, the General Court annulled the decision of the Board of Appeal and found a likelihood of confusion between:

AYUURI NATURAL v  AYUUR

CTM applied for        earlier rights

The goods in Classes 3, namely ‘soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair care products; dentifrices; beauty products’ and in Class 5: ‘Ayurvedic preparations; homeopathic preparations; herbal health preparations; healthfood supplements; healthcare products’ are identical or similar to the earlier marks'.

The Court disagreed with the Board which held there was no likelihood of confusion given the weak distinctive character of the earlier marks and the low overall similarity between the signs at issue. In essence, at the conceptual level, contrary to the view of the Board of Appeal, the GC found that the relevant public will not readily link the component ‘ayur’ and the word ‘Ayurveda’, which refers to a form of traditional Hindu medicine. Although there exists, among the general consumer public of the EU, a more specialised public with knowledge of alternative medicine, esotericism, Hinduism, oriental culture and yoga (judgment of 17September 2008 in Case T‑226/07 Prana Haus v OHIM (PRANAHAUS), paragraphs 26 and 29), there is no basis for the conclusion that that public makes up a large part of the relevant public, contrary to the assertions of the BoA. Likewise, the Board of Appeal’s assertion that alternative medicines, and in particular Ayurveda, are well known and have infiltrated European culture is not sufficiently substantiated (i.e: few internet pages with the terms ‘ayurveda’, ‘ayurvedic’ or ‘ayur’).

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 11.37
Tags: general court, likelihood of confusion, ayuuri natural, ayur, Hindu medecine,
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