It is less common but sometimes a trademark case just deals with the similarity between logos. Logos which do not consist of word elements but just figurative elements. Those cases are always interesting.
In this present case, the fight was between the well-known logo of Total (left). The logo on the right was filed in the United Kingdom, amongst other for financial services. You can imagine that Total was not happy about this logo, especially as Total also offers credit card and financial cards services themselves. Total filed an opposition, not only on the basis of its device mark but also on their design registration of their logo, which is a popular side protection for logo’s.
As is often the case, the decision of the IPO of the UK is well formulated and worth reading. Especially interesting is the outcome of the similarity of the marks. Both trademarks consist of ribbons bearing the same colors. The small differences between the marks are not such that the significant visual similarity is removed.
The remarkable thing is that the examiner takes the view that the design and the trademark are not resembling. The difference lies in the relevant public, facing these trademarks/design. In respect of the trademarks, this is the average consumer of the product/service. In respect of the design, the relevant public is not average but informed. And the informed user pays more attention and will note the differences between the design and trademark.
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