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Wednesday, 11 May 2005

SHARED LETTERS DO NOT A CONCEPTUAL SIMILARITY MAKE ...


Also decided by the Court of First Instance today was Case T-390/03 CM Capital Markets Holding SA v OHIM, Caja de Ahorros de Murcia. CM applied to register this figurative mark as a Community trade mark for goods and services in Classes 1 through to 42. The opponent challenged this, citing its earlier Spanish rights in this mark for services in Classes 35, 36, 38 and 42. The Opposition Division upheld the opposition in respect of certain services in Classes 35, 36, 38 and 42 on the ground that there was a likelihood of confusion between the two marks in Spain. The Board of Appeal disagreed and threw the opposition out, so the opponent appealed to the CFI.

The CFI, dismissing the appeal, agreed with the Board of Appeal that there was no likelihood of confusion, even in Spain. The fact that both marks shared the initials "CM" did not make them conceptually similar for the very good reason that the CM in each case stood for something quite different.

The IPKat agrees with this reasoning. It would be curious if, for example, in the United Kingdom the use of the letters "AA" suggested a conceptual similarity if the users were, respectively, the Automobile Association and Alcoholics Anonymous.

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