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FRIDAY, 21 JUNE 2013
General Court: Ridge Wood v River woods

In Case T- 80/11, the following trademarks were in conflict

Dwarka Nath Kalsi et Ajit Nath Kalsi (India)-

CTM applicant

American Clothing Associates (Belgium)-

Earlier CTM

Goods in classes 18, 24 and 25

Goods and services in Classes 18, 25 and 40

The Opposition Division rejected the opposition. First it found that the goods in Classes 18, 25 and 24 are identical and the services “processing and finishing of textiles” in Class 40 are similar. Furthermore, the signs have a low degree of aural and visual similarity. From a conceptual point of view, the signs are similar due to the common term “wood” and “woods” and for the non English speaking public, the signs have no meaning. Finally, the Opponent did not demonstrate the higher distinctive character of the earlier CTM and thus there is no likelihood of confusion.

The First Board of Appeal cancelled the OD decision. First it found that the goods in Class 24 were complementary and thus similar to the goods in Class 40 “processing and finishing of of skins, leather, furs and textiles” which are aimed at the specialized public. Regarding the signs, there is a high similarity due to the very similar words “ridge” and “river” and the almost identical pronunciation for wood/woods. The verbal element “north-eastern suppliers”, American flag and trees are secondary. Thus there is a likelihood of confusion and there is no need to look at the evidence submitted for the enhanced distinctiveness.

The General Court cancelled the BoA decision only with regard to the comparison of the goods, namely goods in Class 24 ‘textiles’ are not similar to the Class 40 services because they are aimed at different consumers and cannot be found complementary.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 11.45
Tags: General court, likelihood of confusion, ridge wood, river woods,
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