Date of decision: 07.02.18

Reg 207/2009

Application

  • confectionery, caramels [candy] (30) 

  • sweetmeats [candy] (30)

(International Registration designating Bulgaria, Benelux, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom)

Commentary

The GC upheld the BoA's decision that there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks pursuant to Art 8(1)(b). 

The identity of the goods at issue was not disputed. The BoA did not err in considering the most distinctive element of the mark applied for was the word CRABS, which had no connection with the goods at issue and which was visually dominant within the mark as a whole. The marks were visually easy to distinguish, were not phonetically similar and their conceptual similarity was limited to the presence of crayfish.  

As such, although the marks both contained representations of crayfish, there were a number of significant differences, especially visual differences in their structure and overall impression, which rendered the marks only similar to a low degree.

The BoA was entitled to draw this conclusion on the basis of the inherent distinctiveness of the earlier mark. As the earlier mark was neither descriptive of nor allusive to the goods concerned, it possessed a normal degree of inherent distinctiveness. As a result of the overall differences between the marks, there was no likelihood of confusion, even for identical goods