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CLASS 46


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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FRIDAY, 16 JANUARY 2015
General Court: News+/Actu+

In Case T-591/13, the General Court confirmed the contested decision finding lack of likelihood of confusion between the following rights registered for similar services in Classes 35, 38 and 41:

Euronews

Groupe Canal +

News+

ACTU+

The Board held that the signs were different visually and phonetically, and were conceptually similar for part of the relevant public , which understood the meaning of the two signs. In addition, the Board of Appeal noted that the element "+" was commonly used on the market in a laudatory sense and, therefore, should be considered of low distinctive character for the services in question. Also, the alleged brand awareness of "Canal +" had no influence on the distinctiveness of the earlier mark.

The Court found that the average French consumer will perceive the word “actu” as an abbreviation for “actualité” being a synonym of “news”. The English word “news” is commonly used by the French public, so the signs are conceptually similar, contrary to what the Board held. However similar the marks are from a visual or conceptual point of view, they produce such a different visual impression (and “+” has low distinctive character) that no risk of confusion exists.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 17.30
Tags: General court, likelihood of confusion, actu+, news+,
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