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Thursday, 16 March 2006


Ferro, Ferrero, Ferocious appeal ...

The IPKat brings you news of Case T-35/04 Athinaiki Oikogeniaki Artopoiia AVEE v OHIM, Ferrero OHG mbH, decided yesterday by the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (CFI).

Athinaiki applied to register as a Community trade mark a figurative mark containing the word FERRO in relation to foods in classes 29, 30 and related services in Class 42. Ferrero opposed, relying on its earlier German word mark FERRERO for various goods in classes 5, 29, 30, 32 and 33, in particular chocolate and non-alcoholic beverages, and maintaining that, by virtue of the marks' similarity, there was a likelihood of confusion.

The OHIM Opposition Division upheld the opposition for certain goods in class 30, citing the phonetic and visual similarity between the two marks and the fact they covered similar or identical goods. Athinaiki appealed unsuccessfully against that decision,the First Board of Appeal holding that the verbal element of the FERRO was dominant and that the banner on which the word FERRO was written was a secondary element since it did not constitute a particularly original or imaginative representation that was capable of attracting the consumer’s attention. Athinaiki then appealed to the CFI.

The CFI dismissed Athinaiki's appeal, affirming the decision of the lower tribunals in the clearest and most detailed manner. Considering that there was no significant legal issue at stake and that it was essentially the application of settled law to the facts that was in dispute, the CFI's decision was painstaking, spanning 72 paragraphs and leaving no facet of visual, phonetic or semantic relevance unconsidered.

The IPKat wonders what impelled the CFI to spend so much time and effort in this case. Was it the persistence of Athinaiki's representative, the desire to place the dispute beyond any further doubt or for some more subtle reason? Merpel says, perhaps the CFI enjoys trade mark cases as much as we do!

Ferro here. Ferrero here. Ferrari here.

Translation watch ... again

Case T‑31/04, Eurodrive Services and Distribution NV v OHIM, Jesús Gómez Frías, was also decided by the CFI yesterday, alas not in English. If any friendly and linguistically talented reader of this blog would like to post a comment, below, on what this case is about, the Kat will be totally thrilled.

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