IPKAT v IPAT: your chance to advise!

The IPKat is not just a commentator on IP-related matters; he also owns a little patch of intangible estate. This is his Community trade mark registration E8150286 for the word IPKAT, with a filing date of 11 March 2009 and a publication date of 25 May 2009. As a goodwill gesture to the entente cordiale, he opted for French as the mark's second language and the mark is registered for, among other things, "Education services; training services; arranging and conducting conferences, seminars, symposiums" in Class 41.

Artwork: there are various other IPATs around, it appears, but only one IPKat ...

OHIM has now notified the IPKat that his precious mark has been revealed as a possible obstacle following the Office's search in relation to this application to register the word mark IPAT. This application has been made by a Dutch company, AT Osborne BV, and it covers, among other things, "Education; provision of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities", also in Class 41. This application has a filing date of 4 April 2009 and was published on 9 November 2009.

At this point the IPKat has to decide: should he (a) oppose the application by AT Osborne BV on the ground that, given the similarity of the marks and the identity/similarity of the services, there is a likelihood of confusion among relevant consumers, (b) seek an assurance or undertaking from AT Osborne BV that it will limit its specification to reflect the services it actually provides or to exclude the services provided in the field of law, business, finance, media, telecommunications, information technology, intellectual property, property, management, banking, security and tax -- these being areas specified in the IPKat's registration; (c) do nothing because, while the marks are only one letter different and have some visual and possible aural similarity, the meaning of "IPKAT" as an "Intellectual Property Cat" results in there being so strong a conceptual contrast that the marks are insufficiently similar to be confused; (d) do nothing on the basis that there's no realistic likelihood of confusion; (e) adopt some other strategy?

At the top of the side bar of this weblog there's a poll. Do please let the IPKat know what you think he should do. He's ever so curious to see if there's a consensus. Merpel moans, why didn't you register me too? Aren't I worth anything?
IPKAT v IPAT: your chance to advise! IPKAT v IPAT: your chance to advise! Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, December 02, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Hmm... on 31 May 206 you actually referred to yourself as the IPAT on this site....

  2. Anonymous 2:55pm. Quite right! It was a typo, not unlike the one which appears in the date you cite in your comment :-)

  3. How does anonymous know that, in the post on 31 May 2006, he was referring to himself as the IPAT and not referring to the real IPAT?

  4. Well.. the point is it is easy to mistype... if I were looking for one of your seminars perhaps I would type in ipat by mistake..

    and of course, you are looking good for 1803 years of blogging!

  5. All this is enough to confuse me. Actual instances of confusion; let's oppose!

  6. Please notice the first trade mark judgement from the General Court this day:

    '40 Although it is correct, as the Board of Appeal observed, that the beginning of a sign is of importance in the global impression created by that sign, it cannot be denied in the present case that there is a degree of similarity, in view of the identical pronunciation to which a very large part of each of the signs at issue gives rise, namely four of their five letters.

    41 The Board of Appeal therefore made an error of assessment in not recognising that there is a certain degree of phonetic similarity between the signs at issue.'

    In the IPKat-case I believe the conceptual dissimilarity is decisive: we all se or her the cat in the IPKat-mark...

  7. Surely this is a classic case for a trade mark delimitation agreement between the parties whereby the IPKat agrees to registration of IPAT (and possibly to a narrowing of the services for which IPKAT is registered) in return for Ipat's agreement to narrow the services for which IPAT is registered so not to cover the IPKat's patch (and possibly other things as well, such as not to register IPKat's services elsewhere). Come on IPKat, show everyone how these situations should be resolved - by agreement not litigation.

  8. Drifting a little off-topic, this week's Lawyer magazine has a full-page advert for a job with the EPO in which one of the skills required is an ability to present cases in a "well-agued manner".

    A pox on both their houses?


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/p/want-to-complain.html

Powered by Blogger.