Apple voert succesvol oppositie tegen EU-merkaanvraag 'MI PAD'
Gerecht EU 5 december 2017, IEF 17328, IEFbe 2418; ECLI:EU:T:2017:868; T-893/16 (Xiaomi tegen EUIPO) Merkenrecht. Kort, uit het persbericht: Apple slaagt in voorkoming van de registratie van 'MI PAD' als EU-merk voor elektronische apparaten en telecommunicatie diensten. Er zou te veel verwarringsgevaar zijn met iPad.
34. In the present case, regarding the comparison of the marks at issue, the Board of Appeal considered that they were highly visually similar, given that they coincided as to the letter sequence ‘ipad’ and differed only as to the presence of the letter ‘m’ at the beginning of the mark applied for. Phonetically, it considered that the marks at issue were similar, given that they coincided as to the pronunciation both of their common second syllable, ‘pad’, and of the vowel ‘i’, present in the first syllable of each of those marks. Conceptually, it considered that the marks at issue were very similar in the English-speaking part of the European Union due to the common element ‘pad’, which would be understood as meaning tablet or tablet computer by the relevant English-speaking public, whereas the conceptual comparison remained neutral in the non-English-speaking part of the European Union.58 In the present case, the Board of Appeal concluded that there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks at issue. In particular, in view of the identity or similarity of the goods and services covered by the marks at issue, it considered that the differences between those marks arising from the presence of the additional letter ‘m’ at the beginning of the mark applied for were not sufficient to offset the high degree of visual and phonetic similarity between the marks at issue, taken as a whole. It also considered that, even supposing that the relevant public were to display a higher level of attention, it would believe that the goods and services in question came from the same undertaking or from economically-linked undertakings and would think that the mark applied for, MI PAD, was a variation on the earlier trade mark IPAD.