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Geschäftsreise auf Englisch - Warenzeichenkonflikt: Zum Verwechseln ähnlich

Schlagwörter: Geschäftsreise auf Englisch, Englisch Geschäftsreise, Business Trip Englisch, Englisch Warenzeichen, Englisch Marken

Most people take trademarks for granted,
but they’re really an intricate business.
When similar names from different
regions of the world collide in the international
marketplace, the result can be
consumer confusion. Worse, companies
sometimes try to use a name similar to
a strong, established trademark in an attempt
to leverage the marketing strength
of the well-known trademark to either
build business or steal it.


Trademark authorities in different trading
zones such as North America and the EU
are responsible for policing the approved
use of trademarks within their territories.
They do this by comparing trademark
applications with existing approved trademarks
for strong similarity, and by allowing
companies to appeal and object to the use
of trademarks they feel infringe on their
intellectual property rights.

The following rather difficult text resulted
from one such case in the EU. Read it
carefully and then answer the reading
comprehension questions that follow. You’ll
find related exercises on pages 7 and 8.

Background to the dispute


  1. On 30 November 2001, Serono Genetics
    Institute SA filed an application
    for registration of a Community trade
    mark with the Office for Harmonisation
    in the Internal Market (Trade
    Marks and Designs) (OHIM) in accordance
    with Council Regulation (EC)
    No 40/94 of 20 December 1993 on
    the Community trade mark (OJ 1994
    L 11, p. 1), as amended (replaced by
    Council Regulation (EC) No 207/2009
    of 26 February 2009 on the Community
    trade mark (OJ 2009 L 78, p. 1)).


  2. The mark for which registration was
    sought is the word mark FAMOXIN.


  3. The goods for which registration
    was sought are in Class 5 of the
    Nice Agreement concerning the
    International Classification of Goods
    and Services for the Purposes of the
    Registration of Marks of 15 June
    1957, as revised and amended, and
    correspond to the following description:
    ’pharmaceutical preparations for
    the treatment of metabolic disorders
    adapted for administration only by
    intravenous, intra-muscular or subcutaneous
    injection’.


  4. The trade mark applied for was registered
    on 31 May 2005.


  5. On 30 September 2005, GlaxoSmith-
    Kline SpA, Laboratórios Wellcome De
    Portugal Lda and The Wellcome Foundation
    Ltd filed three applications with
    OHIM for a declaration of invalidity of
    the Community trade mark FAMOXIN,
    on the basis of Article 52(1)(a) of
    Regulation No 40/94 (now Article
    53(1)(a) of Regulation No 207/2009).


  6. GlaxoSmithKline relied on the earlier
    word mark LANOXIN, registered in
    Italy under No 758 074 for the following
    goods in Class 5: ’pharmaceutical
    preparations’.


  7. Laboratórios Wellcome de Portugal
    relied on the earlier word mark LANOXIN,
    registered in Portugal under
    No 157 610 for the following goods in
    Class 5: ’pharmaceutical preparations
    with digoxin for human use’.


  8. The Wellcome Foundation relied on the
    following earlier rights:

    • the word mark LANOXIN under Finnish
      trade mark registration No 31
      403 for the following goods in Class
      5: ’pharmaceutical preparations with
      digoxin for human use’;


    • the word mark LANOXIN under Benelux
      trade mark registration No 63 853
      for the following goods in Class 5: ’medicinal
      and pharmaceutical products’;


    • the word mark LANOXIN under Danish
      trade mark registration No VR 1989
      05 795 for the following goods in Class
      5: ’pharmaceutical preparations with
      digoxin for human use’;


    • the word mark LANOXIN under Irish
      trade mark registration No 59 069
      for, inter alia, the following goods in
      Class 5: ’medical, pharmaceutical
      substances’;


    • the word mark LANOXIN under United
      Kingdom trade mark registration No
      752 835 for the following goods in
      Class 5: ’pharmaceutical preparations
      with digoxin for human use’;


    • the word mark LANOXIN under Greek
      trade mark registration No 21 480,
      registered for the following goods in
      Class 5: ’pharmaceutical and medical
      products’;


    • the word mark LANOXIN under Swedish
      trade mark registration No 366 605
      for the following goods in Class 5:
      ’pharmaceutical and medical products’.


  9. On 6 January 2006, Serono Genetics
    Institute requested proof of use
    of the earlier marks relied on by the
    applicants.


  10. Following that request, on 12 April
    2006, The Wellcome Foundation
    withdrew its reliance on the Greek registration
    No 21 480 and the Swedish
    registration No 366 605 in support of
    the application for cancellation.


  11. By three decisions of 30 October 2006,
    the Cancellation Division rejected the
    applicants’ applications for cancellation.


  12. On 21 December 2006, the applicants
    filed appeals pursuant to Articles 57
    to 62 of Regulation No 40/94 (now
    Articles 58 to 64 of Regulation No
    207/2009) against those decisions
    of the Cancellation Division.


  13. By decision of 14 September 2007
    (Case R 8/2007-1), the First Board
    of Appeal dismissed the appeal lodged
    by GlaxoSmithKline and upheld the
    Cancellation Division’s decision, stating
    that the earlier mark, registered
    in Italy under No 758 074, should be
    deemed to be registered for ’pharmaceutical
    preparations for cardio-
    vascular illnesses’, that is to say, a
    sub-category covering the goods in
    respect of which the earlier mark had
    in fact been used.


  14. By decision of 20 November 2007
    (Case R 10/2007-1), the First Board
    of Appeal dismissed the appeal
    lodged by Laboratórios Wellcome de
    Portugal and upheld the Cancellation
    Division’s decision, stating that the
    earlier mark, registered in Portugal
    under No 157 610, should be deemed
    to be registered for ’pharmaceutical
    preparations with digoxin for human
    use for cardiovascular illnesses’, that
    is to say, a sub-category covering the
    goods in respect of which the earlier
    mark had in fact been used.


  15. By decision of 19 November 2007
    (Case R 9/2007-1), the First Board
    of Appeal dismissed the appeal
    lodged by The Wellcome Foundation
    and upheld the Cancellation Division’s
    decision, stating that the earlier
    marks, registered in Finland under
    No 31 403, in the Benelux countries
    under No 63 853, in Denmark under
    No VR 1989 05 795, in Ireland under
    No 59 069 and in the United Kingdom
    under No 752 835, should be deemed
    to be registered for ’pharmaceutical
    preparations for cardiovascular illnesses’,
    that is to say, a sub-category
    covering the goods in respect of which
    the earlier marks had in fact been used.


  16. It is apparent from those three decisions
    that the Board of Appeal based
    its rejection of the applicants’ appeals,
    essentially, on the same reasoning.


  17. First, it took the view that the goods
    covered by the earlier marks LANOXIN
    could be in the form of tablets or liquid
    for oral use or of an injection for the
    treatment of cardiovascular illnesses,
    while the goods covered by the Community
    trade mark FAMOXIN were
    goods intended only for injection for
    the treatment of metabolic disorders.


  18. Next, the Board of Appeal considered
    that goods intended to treat metabolic
    disorders by injection are, in the
    majority of cases, used by healthcare
    professionals in hospitals or private
    clinics and that injections are generally
    administered by professionals. It deduced
    therefrom that patients would
    probably not see the mark under which
    those goods are sold. In its view, however,
    it is possible that some patients,
    such as diabetics, for example, would
    administer the injections themselves.
    In that case, the goods would nevertheless
    be used under the supervision
    of a professional. With regard to
    cardiovascular illnesses, the Board
    of Appeal stated that, since those illnesses
    are very serious, it must also
    be expected that the goods on which
    GlaxoSmithKline’s applications for
    cancellation are based are prescribed
    by doctors and, accordingly, used
    by patients under the supervision of
    professionals. The relevant public is
    therefore made up of professionals.
    The Board of Appeal added that the
    end consumers could also constitute
    the relevant public but that, in the
    present case, they would be under the
    guidance of professionals.


  19. The Board of Appeal concluded that,
    although there is a certain similarity
    between the goods covered by
    the marks at issue, since they are
    pharmaceutical preparations, that
    similarity is in part offset by the fact
    that the end consumers are treated by
    different categories of physicians and
    that the goods covered by the marks
    had different therapeutic indications.
    The final consumers must, in such
    cases, be considered to have a high
    degree of attentiveness.


  20. Furthermore, the Board of Appeal
    took the view that, taking into account
    the significant differences between
    the marks at issue, both visually and
    aurally, and the low level of conceptual
    similarity, the marks were only very
    slightly similar.


  21. It concluded therefrom that there
    was no likelihood of confusion. In that
    regard, it pointed out that, in the
    case of the Community trade mark,
    the relevant public was always to
    be regarded as being constituted by
    professionals and since the general
    public would, in every case, be under
    the guidance of professionals, it could
    not be regarded as being required to
    choose between the marks at issue.


Test your understanding of the main points

  1. Three companies challenged the
    registration of the trade mark by
    filing for what?


  2. Which word mark did the three challengers
    feel was in earlier use and
    threatened by the new mark?


  3. To counter the request, what did
    Serono Genetics Institute request?


  4. The three challengers then requested
    cancellation of their challenges.
    Which of the cancellation requests
    were approved?


  5. Did the Board of Appeal view the
    two products to be similar in any
    way? In which way or ways?


  6. For the sake of this decision, which
    group of people was determined to
    be the “relevant public”?


  7. What level of visual and aural similarity
    between the marks was judged
    to exist?


  8. What level of likelihood of confusion
    was thought to exist?


ANSWERS
1. A declaration of invalidity
2. LANOXIN
3. Proof of use of the earlier marks
4. None of them. The challenges were regarded as reasonable and were taken under consideration.
5. Yes. Both products were pharmaceutical preparations that could be used for injection.
6. Professionals or consumers under professional guidance.
7. Only very slight.
8. No level of likelihood.

Schlagwörter: Geschäftsreise auf Englisch, Englisch Geschäftsreise, Business Trip Englisch, Englisch Warenzeichen, Englisch Marken

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