Globo Comunicação e Participações S/A (“Globo”), a Brazilian media group, has successfully opposed an EUTM application for the word mark GLOBO MEDIA by Globo Media SA (“Globo Media”), a Spanish film and television production company, based on its earlier figurative mark TV GLOBO INTERNATIONAL (shown above right), at the EU General Court. The Court placed particular significance on the phonetic and conceptual similarities in determining that there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks.

Globo Media’s EUTM application was filed for goods and services in a number of classes, including, for the purposes of the appeal to the General Court, broadcasting and entertainment services in classes 38 and 41. Globo’s earlier Portuguese figurative mark covered entertainment services in class 41, and Globo Media did not dispute before the Court that the relevant services were at least similar.

The Court, upholding the prior decisions of the Opposition Division and Fourth Board of Appeal in the case, held there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks, based on the following factors in particular:

  • Relevant public – The relevant public was the public at large and the professional public in Portugal.
  • Phonetic similarity – The marks were phonetically similar to a medium degree on the basis that the word they shared in common – GLOBO – was pronounced identically in Portuguese.
  • Visual similarity – The figurative elements in the earlier mark reinforced the concept conveyed by the expression TV GLOBO, and therefore did not make it substantially different from the applicant’s mark. However, the marks were nevertheless only visually similar to a low degree.
  • Conceptual similarity – The marks were conceptually similar to a high degree when taking the common element GLOBO and the linked concepts of TV and MEDIA into consideration.
  • Distinctiveness – Since both marks had the word GLOBO in common and none of the services related to globes as such, this conferred a distinctive element to the marks which they had in common. The words MEDIA and TV were descriptive in nature, since they related to the relevant services.
  • Overall assessment – There were no grounds for concluding that the visual aspects of the marks should take precedence over their phonetic and conceptual aspects, having regard to the relevant services, and the overall assessment had to be based on the overall impression conveyed by the marks, since the average consumer usually perceives a mark as a whole.

Case T-262/16