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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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Once upon a time in General Court: tale of an heraldic fight

In the not so far away kingdom of OHIM, two brave German knights were fighting the (lost) battle of the likelihood of confusion on the battle ground known as Case T-193/12:

 MIP Metro Group Intellectual Property GmbH & Co. KG - Düsseldorf applicant

Holsten-Brauerei AG - Hamburg Opponent

 Image not found

 Image not found

Class 33 ‘beers’

Class 33 ’beers’

The General Court confirmed the findings of the Board of Appeal : there is a risk of confusion for identical goods, the signs are visually similar, phonetically identical for consumers (-tavern clients without a doubt-) mentioning only the letter "h". The signs also had  a conceptual similarity: despite the  differences  (a crown in the contested CTM and a knight on a horse for the earlier mark) they both referred to “heraldic symbols”.

 The court dismissed the applicant’s argument  alleging that the relevant consumer is in the habit of seeing heraldic motifs  to describe beers in Germany. This habit tends rather to enhance the likelihood of confusion:  an even greater attention to the figure attached to the blazon,  and in this case, the same letter "h". The BoA did not attach more importance to any "dominant element", it is sufficient to say that the overall impression of the signs is  very similar to find a likelihood of confusion according to Article 8(1) b) CTMR.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 14.28
Tags: General Court, H, heraldic symbols, beer,
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