Hipoland AD, represented by the team of IP Consulting, Ltd. filed an opposition against all the goods of European Union trade mark application No 13 399 456 hipo, applied by HIPO – P.G. GOLDA.
The opponent is owner of a group of trade marks – Hippoland containing the element – HIPPO and an image of a hippopotamus.
The opposition was based on Article 8(1)(b):
1. Upon opposition by the proprietor of an earlier trade mark, the trade mark applied for shall not be registered:
(b) if because of its identity with, or similarity to, the earlier trade mark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services covered by the trade marks there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public in the territory in which the earlier trade mark is protected; the likelihood of confusion includes the likelihood of association with the earlier trade mark.
The opposition was based on more than one earlier trade mark but the Opposition Division examined firstly the opposition in relation to the opponent’s European Union trade mark registration 9 455 635 (showed below).
Both signs have been found similar aurally, visually and conceptually to an average degree. The goods are identical or similar. The distinctiveness of the earlier marks have been found normal.
The final decision of the Opposition Division is to reject the application No. 13399456 hipo due to likelihood of confusion on the part of the Bulgarian-speaking part of the public.