On behalf of its client, IP Consulting Ltd. filed an opposition against all the goods in Classes 29, 30 and 31 regarding European Union trade mark application No 13 681 028 for figurative trade mark Soleo sweet. The opposition is based on inter alia, European Union trade mark registration No 7 562 408 for the word mark ‘SOLEI’ and European Union trade mark registration No 7 562 176 for the word mark ‘СОЛЕЙ’.
EU TM No 7 562 408
According to the Opposition Division, the earlier trade mark enjoys a normal degree of distinctiveness. The contested goods have been found partly identical and partly similar to various degrees and partially dissimilar. The level of attention of the relevant public is normal.The trade marks have been found visually and aurally similar to a high degree and conceptually not comparable.
Average consumers rarely make a direct comparison between different marks. Therefore, the consumers are likely to confuse the marks or believe that the contested goods come from the same undertaking. The opposition is well founded on the basis of the opponent’s European Union trade mark registration No 7 562 408. It follows that the contested trade mark must be rejected for all the contested goods found to be identical or similar, also the ones found to be similar to a low degree.
EU TM No 7 562 176
The earlier mark is a word mark written in Cyrillic alphabet whereas the contested sign is written in Latin characters. Although the Cyrillic alphabet is the official alphabet in Bulgaria, Latin alphabet is well-known, understood and used on the territory of the country.
The Opposition Division established that the earlier mark enjoys a normal degree of distinctiveness. The remaining contested goods have been found identical.
Considering mainly the identity of the goods and the interdependence principle, there is a likelihood of confusion on the part of the Bulgarian-speaking part of the public. The Opposition Division stated that a likelihood of confusion for only part of the relevant public of the European Union is sufficient to reject the contested application.
Taking into account all the presented facts, the Opposition Division decided to upheld the opposition filed by IP Consulting for all the contested goods. Furthermore, the applicant of the contested trade mark shall bear the costs, fixed at EUR 650.