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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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WEDNESDAY, 2 APRIL 2014
General Court: Portuguese wines PERA MANCA

In Case T- 602/11, the General Court had to review the following oppositionbetween two Portuguese wine makers, brought on the basis of Article 8 (1) b) and 8 (5) CTMR :

Pêra-Grave – Sociedade Agrícola, Unipessoal Lda

Contested CTM

Fundação Eugénio de Almeida – earlier Portuguese marks

1) 

2) 3)

Class 33 ‘alcoholic beverages’ (except beer)

Class 33 ‘red and white wines; alcoholic beverages’

The Opposition Division rejected the opposition, holding there was an overall low similarity between the signs. In addition, the evidence submitted to demonstrate that the earlier signs were well-known was filed too late.

The Second Board of Appeal and General Court upheld the opposition and rejected the contested CTM on the basis of Article 8 (1) b) CTMR holding that a likelihood of confusion could not be excluded for the Portuguese public, since the low degree of similarity of the signs was counterbalanced by the identity of the goods.

Further, since consumers usually refer to wine by their verbal element (when ordering in a bar for example), when comparing the contested CTM with the third earlier mark which is the most similar, it was held that the common element “PÊRA-MANCA» or «PERAMANCA” being the most important element and having an average degree of distinctiveness, the signs had a certain degree of similarity.

Visually and aurally, the similarities are low but the figurative elements do not neutralize the similarity and the word “Qta” meaning “quinta” (or vineyard) is common in the wine sector. Plus, the common element can be perceived as a place of origin and thus there is a conceptual “overlap”.

The General Court dismissed the appeal.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 15.17
Tags: General court, likelihood of confusion, wine, pera manca, Portugal,
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