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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, 31 MAY 2013
General Court: Service point v. Service point

In Case T-218/10, the General Court had to review the OHIM decision between DHL International GmbH (Germany) and Service Point Solutions, SA (Spain) between the following marks registered for the following goods and services:

Contested CTM - DHL

Earlier CTM’s - Service point Solution s

 

Goods in Classes 16 and 20

Services in Classes 35 and 39

Goods in Classes 8,9, 16, 20

Services in Classes 35, 38, 39 and 42

The Board of Appeal considered that the signs were almost identical. For the English-speaking consumer, for whom “Service point” has a meaning and will be seen as descriptive of the services, there would be very low risk of confusion due to the different figurative elements. Nevertheless, the unusual combination of those two words and the fact that “customer service points” or “information points” are more commonly used to refer to a place where you receive help for services, mean than even for the English consumer, the signs will have a minimum degree of distinctiveness. As regards the rest of the EU consumers who don’t necessarily speak English , the terms “Service point” will be perceived as fanciful. According to a TNS Infratest survey produced, more than 50% of Europeans do not speak English and one third have only basic knowledge. Thus, besides in French where the words are identical, each language has spelling variations or equivalent different words in the respective languages, in particular in Bulgarian, Finnish, Greek and Hungarian. The colours and figurative drawings will be perceived as mere decorative elements and the verbal elements will strike most the consumer’s attention.

Therefore, the General Court upheld the finding of likelihood of confusion for all the identical and similar goods and services between highly similar signs.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 16.48
Tags: General court, likelihoof of confusion, service point, transport services,
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