Bega Cheese opposed the extension of protection to the below trade mark (including a colour claim) to Australia owned by Quesos Vega Soltuelamos, SL.

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The opponent pressed grounds of section 44 and 60 on the basis of its prior registrations for its BEGA branded cheeses, as well as the reputation it has acquired as a result of the extensive use of its BEGA trade marks.

Under section 44, the Hearing Officer noted that ‘V’ and ‘B’ (the first letter of the respective trade marks) are visually ‘very different’ and the additional element ‘MANCHA’ further served to distinguish the applicant’s mark from the prior BEGA trade marks. As such, the trade marks were not, in the Hearing Officer’s mind, deceptively similar.

Under section 60, the Hearing Officer noted that the opponent held a ‘very considerable and pervasive reputation in Australia for its BEGA trade mark’. However, as the trade marks at issue were considered distinguishable by the Hearing Officer, the section 60 ground failed on the basis that consumer confusion between the two trade marks was unlikely, even taking into account the reputation in the BEGA trade mark.

To view the Office decision, click here.