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19 September 2016
A trademark involving special typography was registered in Classes 6 and 11 (Figure 1).
The holder of the EU trademark MULTIBLOC, which was registered in Class 11 for dispensers, dispenser fittings and relevant parts, filed an opposition action.
The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) rejected the opposition on the grounds that the 'multi' element of the word composition was not distinctive and that, as a result, there was no likelihood of confusion. The applicant filed for review.
The Metropolitan Tribunal dismissed the review request, holding that the dominant elements 'box' and 'bloc' differed visually, phonetically and conceptually. Further, the opponent's mark covered a more restricted technical field and involved products bought mainly by specialists, which meant that there was also no risk of confusion by association.
The applicant appealed the tribunal's decision, which was dismissed by the Metropolitan Court of Appeal. The court agreed with the tribunal and held that the differences between the applicant's mark and the opposing mark were sufficient to remove any likelihood of confusion. Further, the list of goods associated with the opposing mark removed any likelihood of confusion (8.Pkf.25.008/2015).
The examination of the two marks – which included assessing the likelihood of confusion and the degree of similarity between the products covered by each mark – was typical, and in each instance the 'multi' element of the word combination was disregarded.
While it is unsurprising that the three instances rejected the opposition, the applicant's stubbornness is surprising.
For further information on this topic please contact Alexander Vida at Danubia Patent & Law Office LLC by telephone (+36 1 411 8800) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Danubia Patent & Law Office website can be accessed at www.danubia.hu.
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