Date of decision: 20.02.18
- motorcycles, electric motorcycles (12)
- hearses, automobiles (12)
- conversion of motor vehicles into hearses (40)
- conducting engineering studies, technical consultancy; technical appraisals, technical planning, technical project studies, engineering design services, technical project management (42)
The GC upheld the BoA's decision that there was a likelihood of confusion under Art 8(1) (b).
The BoA was correct in its assessment that motorcycles covered by the mark applied for were similar to automobiles covered by the earlier mark, as both were land vehicles intended for the carriage of passengers, which coincided in nature and intended purposes and were aimed at the same public.
The earlier mark did not have a clear dominant element and was of normal distinctive character. The mark applied for similarly did not have a dominant element and the number '1' was not anymore eye-catching than the letters 'CK', which comprised the entirety of the earlier mark. The number 1 was insufficient to rule out visual similarities between the marks and may even have been liable to make consumers more likely to identify the common 'CK' element, especially as the stylistic elements of the earlier mark were held to be purely decorative.
Notwithstanding the fact that the relevant public had a high level of attention, the number '1' may have been perceived as indicative of the sequence number of the earlier mark, increasing the potential confusion between the marks in question.