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General Court: GE (fig) v GE

In case T-520/11, Genebre SA (Spain) applied for the figurative mark (represented below right) for various metal goods, water pipes,valves and hoses, among others, in Classes 6, 7, 9, 11 and 17

General Electric Company (USA) opposed it on the basis of several earlier marks including the UK word mark GE registered for goods in Classes 6,7,9,11 and 17.

The Opposition Division rejected the opposition. The Board of Appeal cancelled the decision upholding the opposition on the basis of the earlier UK sign. For the English-speaking public with average and high attention, due to the identical goods and the average similarity from a visual point of view and identity from an aural point of view (being conceptually neutral), the graphic differences in the contested CTM are not sufficient to exclude any likelihood of confusion according to Article 8(1) b)CMTR. Therefore, it is not necessary to look at the 8(5)CTMR ground.

The General Court dismissed the appeal, confirming the reasoning of the BoA that the public will perceive the contested CTM as the letters G and E and not as fanciful sign representing water valves, thus finding a similarity between the signs.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 17.45
Tags: General Court, likelihood of confusion, GE, general electric company,
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