IEFBE 1339

De weergave van dit artikel is misschien niet optimaal, omdat deze is overgenomen uit onze oudere databank.

Adidas met succes opgetreden tegen motief met twee parallel lopende strepen

Gerecht EU 21 mei 2015, IEFbe 1339, ECLI:EU:T:2015:303 ; zaak T-145/14 (Adidas - Motief met twee parallel lopende strepen)
Vormmerk. Aanvraag van tweestreepmerk.  Schending van artikel 8, lid 1, sub b, en lid 4, van de gemeenschapsmerkenverordening. Oppositie in eerste instantie geweigerd. Adidas is hiertegen zonder succes in hoger beroep gegaan bij de Second Board of Appeal. Er zou geen verwarringsgevaar zijn door een gebrek aan overeenstemming, het relevante deel van het publiek zou de merken niet associëren, en het bestaan en houderschap van een ongeregistreerd merk met drie strepen werd niet voldoende onderbouwd geacht.  Het gerecht acht overeenstemming en verwarringsgevaar aanwezig. Het gerecht vernietigt de beslissing van de Second Board of Appeal van het OHIM.

43      In the light of the foregoing, taking into account the elements clearly common to the marks at issue — parallel sloping stripes, equidistant, of the same width, contrasting with the base colour of the shoe, placed on the outside of the shoe — it must be considered that the overall impression produced by those marks is, to a certain extent, similar and that the Board of Appeal was wrong to conclude that the marks at issue were visually dissimilar.

44      The arguments advanced by OHIM and the intervener in support of the Board of Appeal’s conclusion cannot succeed. First, the elements on which they rely, seeking to demonstrate that the marks at issue differ on account of the different colour and length of the stripes, are not relevant in so far as they are not mentioned by the Board of Appeal in the contested decision. Those new elements cannot supplement the reasoning of the contested decision and have no influence on the assessment of its validity. Second, with regard to the argument concerning the difference in length of the stripes arising from their difference in inclination, it should be pointed out that that minor difference between the marks at issue will not be noticed by the consumer with an average degree of attention and will not influence the overall impression those marks produce on account of the presence of wide sloping stripes on the outside of the shoe.

45      Last, it should be noted that it is precisely because of the lack of any similarity between the signs at issue that the Board of Appeal found that there was no likelihood of confusion.

[...]

49      Therefore, the errors the Board of Appeal made in its assessment of the similarity of the signs at issue are liable to have consequences on the validity of its assessment of the likelihood of confusion.

50      Consequently, the first plea, alleging infringement of Article 8(1)(b) of Regulation No 207/2009, must be upheld, without it being necessary to examine the assessment undertaken by the Board of Appeal of the similarity between the mark applied for and the other earlier marks relied on in support of the opposition, or the merits of the other complaints raised by the applicant in the context of the present plea.

[...]
53      It follows that the Board of Appeal’s erroneous assessment regarding the similarity of the signs at issue influenced all the more its analysis of the ground based on Article 8(5) of Regulation No 207/2009, on which the opposition was also based.

54      Accordingly, the second plea, alleging infringement of Article 8(5) of Regulation No 207/2009, must also be upheld and, consequently, the contested decision must be annulled, without it being necessary to rule on the third plea.