The Patent Office of the Republic of Bulgaria has issued a partial refusal of trademark registration for „Dandelion” TM, вх.entry No 155243/30.05.2019. The decision is in connection with an opposition filed by IPConsulting, which successfully defended the interests of the Australian winemaker Dandelion Vineyards Pty Ltd.
Dandelion Vineyards Pty Ltd. are the owner of an earlier international trademark No 1111277 „DANDELION VINEYARDS“, with effect on the territory of the EU. It was registered on 12.01.2012, with priority from 31.08.2011, for goods of class 33.
The materials provided by IPConsulting clearly show that during the 5-year period preceding the application of the attacked trade mark, the earlier international trademark ‘DANDELION VINEYARDS’ was used regularly to designate the product ‘wine’. The evidence also shows that the opponent used the trade mark in a form that did not differ from the registered one.
Identity/similarity of the goods
The goods in the attacked trade mark ‘alcoholic beverages [other than beer]; alcoholic beverages containing fruit; wine, pear wine, spirits” are identical to the product “wine” for which the earlier trademark is registered. The goods “wine” are named with identical terms in both marks. Most of the other goods in the trade mark in question are highly similar to the wine product because they have the same concurrent nature.
Comparison of trademark signs
The signs being compared are visually and phonetically similar because they contain an identical verbal element ‘DANDELION’. The sound of the trademarks is very similar. The earlier trademark begins with a verbal element identical to the only verbal element of the later one. The signs in conflict are also semantically similar to a high degree.
Likelihood of confusion
The likelihood of confusion includes the possibility of associating with an earlier trademark and creates a misconception about the manufacturer or trader of the goods and / or services. In this case, there are three of the requirements of the Law on trademarks and geographical indications, namely – an earlier trademark, similarity between the signs and identity and similarity between the goods.
The opposition commission of the Bulgarian patent office considers that there is a likelihood of direct confusion for consumers, i.e a possibility to believe that the applied trademark is in fact the earlier one or its variant. Therefore, the trademark registration is rejected for most of the goods in class 33.