The Serbian company Sunoko.o.o filed an opposition against all the goods of European Union trade mark application No 18091313 (Sonoko, figurative).
The opposition is based on international trade mark registration designating, inter alia, Croatia, No 1139685. The oponent, represented by IP Consulting Ltd., invoked Article 8(1)(b) EUTMR.
Visually and aurally, the trade mark signs coincide in the sequence of letters ‘S*NOKO’. Taking into account the assessment on the degree of distinctiveness of the sign’s elements, they are visually and aurally similar to an above average degree.
The distinctiveness of the earlier international trade mark is one of the factors to be taken into account in the global assessment of likelihood of confusion. According to EUIPO’s Opposition division, the distinctiveness of the earlier mark must be seen as normal.
The goods and services of EUTM application No 18091313 (Sonoko) and the earlier international trade mark (Sunoko) have been found partly identical and partly similar in various degrees. They target the general consumers. The degree of attention paid is average.
The Opposition Division considers that the differences between the European Union trade mark application and the earlier mark are clearly not sufficient to outweigh the similarities between them. Consequently, the relevant public, when encountering the signs in relation to identical or at least similar goods are likely to think that they come from the same undertaking or from economically linked undertakings.
According to EUIPO Opposition Division there is a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public and therefore the opposition is partly well founded on the basis of the opponent’s international trade mark registration designating Croatia No 1139685.
The contested EUTM application must be rejected for the goods found to be identical or similar to those of the earlier international trade mark.