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General Court : VIMEO v. MEO

In Case T‑96/14, the General Court dismissed the appeal in the following opposition:

Vimeo LLC

PT Comunicações, SA -earlier CTM


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Class 38: ‘Telecommunications; providing online forums for transmission of messages among users in the field of video sharing, etc"

Class 41: ‘Educational services; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; providing a web site featuring user-generated videos on a wide variety of topics and subjects, etc'

Class 42: ‘ Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software; providing a web site that gives computer users the ability to upload, exchange and share videos; application service provider (ASP) services; providing access to non-downloadable software; etc'

Classes 9, 16, 35, 37, 38, 41 including, among others,

Class 38: ‘Broadcasting of radio and television programmes, dissemination of news; broadcasting of radio and television programmes, radio and television broadcasting; by all means, including by cable and satellite; interactive communications by global telecommunication networks (the Internet), etc’;

Class 41: ‘Entertainment, arranging and conducting of seminars, conferences and shows, providing of training, all the aforementioned services when not related to pharmacies’;


 Class 42: ‘Studies, activities, research, development and projects in the field of telecommunications; design and creation of computer programs for telecommunications, design and development of webpages, with exception of design and development of webpages related to pharmacies’.

Visually and aurally, the figurative elements of the earlier CTM re secondary in the overall impression of the sign meo. Therefore it is appropriate to compare the words ‘vimeo’ and ‘meo’.

In that regard, the latter word is identically contained in the former, constituting three of its five letters. Rven though the element ‘vi’ was placed at the beginning of the sign applied for, the part to which the relevant public generally attached greater importance, that element would not be ignored visually. The element ‘meo’ creates a similarity between the signs in question overall given that the unremarkable figurative elements of the earlier mark do not play a relevant role in the sign’s overall impression.

A conceptual comparison of the marks cannot be carried out must be upheld. For the Anglophone part of the relevant public, the term ‘meo’ has no meaning. Furthermore, that part of the relevant public would not automatically associate the term ‘vimeo’ with the term ‘video’. In addition, at the hearing the applicant stated that it had not submitted any evidence of such an association. Moreover, the applicant clarified that it did not wish to suggest that there was a conceptual difference between the marks at issue.

Moreover, the applicant submitted evidence to prove peaceful coexistence of the marks, which consists of a witness statement of the applicant’s President, extracts from the VIMEO website showing the profiles of long-standing users of VIMEO, copies of articles appearing between 2008 and 2010 in The Guardian and extracts of promotional events for the VIMEO platform in Berlin (Germany), Paris (France) and London (United Kingdom) taken from the VIMEO website.

  Those documents indicate that the sign VIMEO was used in the EU before the application for registration that is the object of these proceedings. However, while accepting that those grounds are sufficient to establish the use in the EU of that earlier mark, the presence of marks identical to those at issue, before the lodging of the application for registration, is not sufficient to demonstrate the peaceful co-existence of the marks in issue.

Therefore, taking into account the visual and phonetic similarities of the marks, the similarities between the goods and services at issue and the ordinary distinctive character of the earlier mark, which is not disputed, the overall impression produced by the marks at issue could lead the public to believe that the goods and services at issue come, at the very least, from undertakings that are economically linked.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 18.55
Tags: general court, meo, vimeo, confusion,
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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