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MONDAY, 11 MAY 2015
General Court: Shadow complex v Business shadow

In case T-717/13, the General Court dismissed the appeal regarding the following opposition for goods in Class 9:

Chair Entertainment Group LLC -

                                                            Libelle AG - earlier CTM

SHADOW COMPLEX

BusinessShadow

Computer game software for personal computers and home video game consoles’

Computer software (recorded)’


Regarding the relevant public,  even if the products ‘computer game software for personal computers and home video games consoles’ covered by the trade mark applied for are also directed at a young public, the relevant public is to be defined taking into account those users likely to use all of the goods at issue. So the relevant consumer is the reasonably well-informed and reasonably observant and circumspect members of the general public of the European Union.

The goods under class 9 covered by the two trade marks are identical in nature;

As regards the signs, the term (‘shadow’) meaning ‘comparative darkness’ in English, can be used in the market sector concerned with a specific meaning to indicate a copy of a master, ‘shadow copies’; the elements (‘business’) and (‘complex’) are likely to be perceived as descriptive elements for the goods at issue. They have a secondary importance in the trade marks;

Allthough the English-speaking public would understand the meaning of all the words which make up the marks at issue, it would probably not attribute any particular meaning to the two marks in their entirety;The signs are visually and phonetically similar to only a low degree because of the presence of the word ‘shadow’.

For the part of the public understanding the meaning of the term ‘shadow’, the signs will be conceptually similar. Therefore there is a likelihood of confusion between the marks at issue at least for the English-speaking part of the general public of the Union. The mark applied for might well be perceived as a variant of the earlier mark; since it was found that there was a likelihood of confusion with one of the earlier marks, it was not necessary to examine the other earlier rights relied on in support of the opposition. 

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 09.25
Tags: General Court, likelihood of confusion, shadow complex, business shadow,
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