Marly mark -- can anyone help?

This morning the Court of First Instance rejected the appeal of NV Marly in l’affaire T‑57/06, NV Marly SA v Office de l’harmonisation dans le marché intérieur, Erdal GmbH. Unfortunately the decision is available in French only. The IPKat can confirm that NV Marly had applied to register the sign represented here as a Community trade mark for « préparations pour nettoyer, polir, dégraisser et abraser, utilisées pour des voitures et pour des accessoires de voitures ; savons, produits de nettoyage et matières à astiquer pour voitures» in Class 3. Erdal opposed, citing its earlier registrations of the TOFIX word mark for « cirages, matières à astiquer et à conserver le cuir, cire à parquet ; matières à nettoyer et à polir (sauf pour le cuir) ; matières à détacher, abrasifs, matières à nettoyer le verre, la porcelaine, la faïence et les matières artificielles » in Class 3 and « matières à conserver le cuir » in Class 4 and alleging a likelihood of confusion.

At this point the Kat is somewhat lost. Since the CFI judgment is 100 paragraphs in length, he assumes there's some significant stuff that he's missing. Kind readers, can you please assist by emailing the IPKat here or by posting an explanation below.
Marly mark -- can anyone help? Marly mark --  can anyone help? Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, November 07, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. Sorry Jeremy, I'm an unkind reader who believes that the equation: 100 paras from the CFI equals 'significant' is, in the light of experience, pretty blinking optimistic.

    Cases such as this ought to be screened out. How many expert tribunals should it take to state the inevitable ?

  2. I can just say that the Court confirmed the risk of confusion for the consumers between "Topix" and "Tofix" as cleaning and maitenance products, but I don't know which points are most relevant.

  3. Oh no, l'auteur has forced me to re-evaluate my initial thought that never in a million years would these two be likely to lead to confusion. But hold on, the first mark is not 'TOPIX' but 'TOP IX' (ie 'top' followed by Roman numeral 9), so he/she misrepresented one of the marks.

    Has anyone got a coin out there to toss ? Maybe it wasn't so easy after all...

    Still, l'auteur at least confirms that knowing what bits of a CFI decision are relevant can be pretty darned difficult at times.

  4. The court said that
    (i)the trade marks were not identical
    (ii)when the claimant used examples of other marks MOPIX AND SOFIX to show that TOPIX was not an unusual strucutre, these examples were not enough and the claimant didn't even produce evidence of TM registration for these marks
    (iii) the claimant did not demonstrate that the coexistence of these signs relied on an absence of likelihood of confusion.

  5. My learned friend Tibor Gold has emailed me to say "There is absolutely nothing significant in this. The CFI considered car cleaning and domestic cleaning products similar - both being fat-moving consumer goods with the same purpose, cleaning, and some of the same active ingredients. The targeted consumer is the bog standard average consumer. The signs were held to be similar, too and so the likelihood of confusion was established, i.e. affirmed.

    A request made for the 1st time before the CFI for the opponent to prove use was rejected, the CFI's role being to supervise the legality of BoA decisions and not to hear/try new points.

    It's hard to explain in retrospect why it all took 100 paras other than a certain overkill/verbosity".


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