In a recent decision, the General Court of the European Union upheld a decision of the Board of Appeal in relation to All Star C.V.’s successful opposition against an EUTM application for the mark shown below, covering classes 9, 18 and 25.
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The opposition was based on the two marks shown below which cover identical and similar goods to those covered by the opposed application.
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In its decision, the General Court placed a large degree of emphasis on the visual similarity of the marks. In particular, the similarity of the structures of the respective marks, namely a number (in the case of ONE STAR) followed by a five-pointed star device and the word ‘star’. This structure was found to contribute strongly to the overall impression of the marks.
The applicant argued unsuccessfully that the five-pointed star device and the word ‘star’ are commonplace in trade marks and, therefore, inherently weak. The General Court disagreed and emphasised that all relevant factors must be taken into account when comparing the signs. In this case, the impression of the five-pointed star device when used in conjunction with the word ‘star’ cannot be perceived as being of secondary importance.
In light of the similar structure of the marks, the General Court found an above average degree of visual similarity and, overall, deemed the marks similar. Given that it also considered the goods at issue to be identical or similar, the General Court found there to be a likelihood of confusion and dismissed application.