Facts

The device mark “evobank” was applied for in class 36

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The holder of the European device mark “evo” protected in class 35, 36, 38 and 45 filed opposition.

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The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office allowed the opposition holding that in both marks “evo” is the dominant element which owns distinctive character as it is not used and has no significance in respect of financial or bank services. The device elements of both marks have only accessorial character. The opposed mark contains the word “bank” which is descriptive considering the bank services figuring in the list of services. In respect of likelihood of confusion HIPO said that in the field of bank services there are relatively few participants. In such a narrow segment of services the coexistence of similar marks is more problematic, the danger is bigger that consumers will confuse them.

The applicant requested review with the Metropolitan Tribunal. This was rejected. The Tribunal said that the user of bank services is such an average consumer, who is particularly attentive, as these services connected with values, often relate to the property of the consumer. The Tribunal agreed with HIPO that there is a likelihood of confusion albeit one has to suppose more attentive consumers as usual (3.Pk.23.573/2015).

Comments

  1. At first glance the two device marks are different. But according to the standard case law, if the figurative element is not sufficiently characteristic, the similitude of the word elements is examined.
  2. It is obvious that the word element “bank” for bank services is descriptive, it has to be disregarded.
  3. The findings of the Tribunal’s decision concerning the character of the bank services, and the higher attention of customers of bank services are really interesting. These allegations are convincing.