Au secours!

There's another non-English Court of First Instance decision today on an appeal from an OHIM Board of Appeal on a Community trade mark law issue. It's Case T‑106/06, Demp BV, anciennement Demp Holding BV v OHIM, BAU HOW GmbH. Available in French and German only, so far, it involves the two trade marks depicted here and the IPKat thinks it's an opposition based on likelihood of confusion. More than that, he's not sure. Can anyone kindly enlighten him? Please post explanations below or email the IPKat here.
Au secours! Au secours! Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. This might help to an extent:

  2. An opposition was filed, based on former trademark "bauhaus".

    According to the Court, there is no risk of confusion.
    Visually, differences are straightforward (structure, colours, tridimensional aspect, general shape).
    Phonetically, the Court admits that in some countries the similarities are strong between "bauhaus" and "bauhow".
    Conceptually, the comparison is not possible because the words "bau" and "how" do not have signification in one single language.

    For the Court, the phonetic similarity has little weight, because the products are mainly sold in self-service stores. There is a low risk for the consumer to confuse the products.

  3. My good friend Jean Pire (Gevers) has emailed me his own translation of paras 47 and 48: "47 It results from it that, in the overall assessment of the risk of confusion by the average consumers referred to in section 33 above, the phonetic similarity between the signs in conflict is of lower importance compared to the visual differences existing between those signs. The importance of this phonetic similarity is even more reduced for the average consumers of the products which are intended for a specialized public, and therefore their degree of attention is higher.

    48 Taking into account the important differences existing between the signs in conflict on the visual level, of the lower importance of their phonetic similarity and owing to the fact that those are either insusceptible to be the subject of a conceptual comparison, or could present some perceptible conceptual differences, it is necessary to conclude that the appeal board did not erred by ruling that there was no risk of confusion within the meaning of article 8, paragraph 1, under b), of Council Regulation n° 40/94, even if the products indicated by the signs in conflict are identical or similar".

  4. I've also just got an email from Venti Stoilov, an IP specialist from Bulgaria. He writes: "If I understand the case correctly, I think that there isn't a likelihood of confusion between these two trade marks - BAUHAUS and BAUNOW.

    My standpoint is that the two marks are written differently- HAUS/NOW - and the two marks have disparate colours.

    I agree that these marks are pronounced similarly and they look different, but when we make a comparison we should evaluate the marks as a whole".


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