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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, 9 DECEMBER 2014
General Court: Valdasaar v. Val d'azur

In Case T-519/13, the General Court reviewed the following op position:

Leder & Schuh International AG (Austria)- contested CTM

Valerie Epple (Germany) –earlier CTM

VALDASAAR

VAL D’AZUR

Classes 25 and 35 including various types of footwear and retail services for footwear, jewelry, purses, etc

Class 25 ‘clothing, footwear, headwear”

 The Opposition Division upheld the opposition for all the goods in Class 25 and most of the services in Class 35.

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The Board of Appeal annulled the OD’s decision as far as the services are concerned in Class 35.However the BoA confirmed there was a risk of confusion for the goods in Class 25 finding  them identical. 

As to the similarity of the signs, those signs have a certain similarity visually and a degree of similarity using phonetics. It is impossible to make a comparison conceptually  in the EU or it will be different for the French public: the contested CTM is an arbitrary word and the earlier mark will evoke the French Riviera (“côte d’azur”) or "blue azure valley" only to the French-speaking consumer. As regards the distinctive character, the Board of Appeal held that the distinctive character of the earlier mark was average, since the term "val d’azur ‘ was devoid of descriptive meaning in relation to the products concerned.

Given the identical nature of the goods in question and the degree of similarity between the conflicting signs, there was a risk of confusion.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 16.24
Tags: General Court, likelihood of confusion, Valdasaar ,
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