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General Court: winter sports and demons

In Case T-380/12, Big Line Sas di Graziani Lorenzo applied for the following figurative mark for Class 9 goods, namely " eyewear, eyewear frames, sunglasses, sports glasses, protective masks for sports except for specific sports; ski masks; snowboard masks, eyewear cases" .

 Demon International brough a cancellation action based on Article 8(1) b) CTMR with earlier International Mark DEMON registered in Benelux, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain for Class 28 goods consisting mainly of "snowboards, snowbards gear and protection bags".

 The Cancellation division (CD) partly upheld the action and cancelled the mark for the following goods "eyewear, eyewear frames, sunglasses, eyewear cases". 

The Board of Appeal annulled the CD's decision, holding that even for similar signs, the goods "protective masks and eyewear" were only slightly similar to the "snowboard gear". The BoA found that although those channels of distribution were usually the same specialized ones and the goods were to a certain extent complementary, they only shared similarity to a slight degree.

 The General Court upheld the appeal and found, contrary to the BoA, that the goods "ski masks and snowboard masks" had a medium degree of similarity with "snowboard gear": they are aimed at the same consumers, advertised though the same channels and sold at the same shops, they are undoubtly complementary since consumers never ski or snowboard without protective eyewear. The GC thus cancelled the contested CTM for "ski masks and snowboard masks" holding there is a likelihood of confusion for the similar signs.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 01.22
Tags: General court, likelihood of confusion, demon, snowboard, masks,
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