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Thursday, 21 August 2003


Here's another Opposition Division decision from OHIM in Alicante, this time on dissimiliarity of services. US corporation Norwegian Cruise Line applied to register the letters NCL as a Community trade mark for cruise ship services in Class 39. Portuguese company NCL Transitarios opposed, citing a Portuguese mark consisting of this stork emblem with the letters NCL prominently splashed across its body and registered for forwarding services, also in Class 39 [nb though the registration was for "forwarding services" in general, it was treated as though it was for the forwarding of freight by sea for the purposes of the opposition]. According to the Portuguese company the marks and services were similar and there was a likelihood of confusion under CTM Regulation 40/94, Art.8(1)(b).

Citing the 1995 edition of Collins English Dictionary, the Opposition Division concluded that cruises were for people, while forwarding services were for cargo, in other words goods. There was thus no similarity between the respective services and no consequent likelihood of confusion and the opposition failed. The IPKat, considering any comment superfluous, snuggled into his blanket and dreamt of ship's mice.

For passengers who prefer to travel cargo class click here, here and here
Ship's cats and mice here

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