Decisions that relate to Article 8(5) of
Regulation 207/2009 on the Community Trade Mark (CTM) -- and the question of conceptual similarity -- and which are
likely to develop this field of law further are far and few between.
In Cases T-524/11 and T-525/11 (both of 12 November 2014) the General Court recently agreed with OHIM's Opposition Division's and Board of Appeal's dismissals of two oppositions against figurative trade marks (shown left and above right) including the sign LOVOL, based on an earlier word CTM mark (and word/device mark registrations) for VOLVO, one of which is depicted below. right.
"consumers who come across the ‘invented trade mark’ LOVOL will be intrigued by that new trade mark for cars, especially since the number of car manufacturers is relatively limited. ... consumers will ask themselves whether that new trade mark for cars has any connection with a very old and highly reputed trade mark for cars and will then be led to associate it with the trade mark VOLVO..."and a
"connection could be made between the signs LOVOL and VOLVO in the minds of consumers because there is a ‘visual dictionary’ in the human brain which people develop when learning to read".The Court found that
"in any event, it does not support Volvo Trademark Holding’s argument: the authors of the article stress that, even where several letters in two words coincide, the differences between the remaining letters mean that reading those words activates different neurones in the human brain. For example, from the point of view of an experienced reader, the distance between the English words ‘hair’ and ‘hare’ is the same as between the words ‘hair’ and ‘soup’, despite the fact that ‘hair’ and ‘hare’ are pronounced identically."
|Hmm, Article 8(5)?!!|