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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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TUESDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2014
Battle of the stars in a circle in General Court

In case T-342/12 Fuchs v OHMI - Les Complices, the General Court reviewed the following opposition

 Mr Fuchs – contested CTM

Earlier CTM and French mark

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Contested goods after applicant’s limitation

Class 18: ‘Leisure articles, namely bags, shoulder bags, rucksacks, except sports bags’;

  Class 24: ‘Textiles and textile goods, namely labels of the aforesaid goods’;

 Class 25: ‘Military clothing and outdoor clothing, manufactured from technical fabrics and other technical components, including trousers, jackets, shirts, T-shirts, waistcoats, anoraks, pullovers, sweatshirts, coats, socks, underwear, scarves, collar protectors and gloves; headgear for wear; belts’.

Class 18: ‘Leather and imitations of leather, handbags, evening bags, sports bags, travelling bags, briefcases, pouches, pocket wallets, credit card holders, cheque book holders, purses, school bags; trunks and travelling bags; umbrellas, parasols, leather leashes’;

Class 24: ‘Fabrics for textile use; curtains and wall hangings; bath linen, bath towels, washing mitts and face towels; bed linen, blankets, sheets, pillowcases, eiderdowns, travelling rugs, duvets; table linen, table cloths, sets of table mats and table napkins’.

Class 25 ‘clothing, shoes, helmets’

 

The Opposition Division rejected the opposition in respect of the goods in Class 24 and allowed the opposition in respect of all of the other goods. The Fifth Board of Appeal of OHIM dismissed the appeal. In particular, after finding that the relevant public consisted of the average consumer in all of the Member States of the European Union, in respect of the goods included in Class 18, and of the average French consumer, in respect of the goods included in Class 25, the Board of Appeal took the view that there was a likelihood of confusion between the signs at issue in respect of the goods in Classes 18 and 25, on the ground that the goods were identical or similar, and the signs were visually similar and conceptually identical and that, even if a comparison were impossible from a phonetic perspective, in principle, consumers could refer to the signs at issue by the term ‘star’. With regard to the distinctiveness of the earlier marks, the BoA found that a star with five points was indeed the sign most commonly used to represent a star. However, it found that the minor visual differences between the signs and their conceptual identity continued to be a source of a likelihood of confusion for a public whose level of attention was average.

The GC confirmed that the BoA did not fail correctly to apply Article 8(1)(b) of CTMR in finding that there was a likelihood of confusion between the signs at issue.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 16.10
Tags: general court, likelihood of confusion, star, les complices,
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