Sometimes we see trademark cases and we think “really”? Does the applicant really thought he could getting away with an application like this? Or did the applicant not have any clue?
Probably Paul Frank, godfather of Julius the Monkey, thought the same when he saw the application of the monkey (right under). A Chinese company filed this monkey in the European Union for amongst others clothing. Apart from the fact that both logo’s are showing a monkey (which results in a conceptual identity), there is also a major visual similarity. The colors are the same, the face, eyes and ears are similar. There are also minor differences: the hair is different and the contested mark has a body.
As EUIPO explains, there can be direct confusion but also indirect confusion. The additional depiction of the body is not striking. Other differences are also just minor changes and cannot prevent that the consumer might very well think that the later trademark is a version of the earlier sign. So, EUIPO rejects the application for almost all products. Thus, a clear case of aping!
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