Cponfondibilityà tyras marchio nenominativo e complesso: il caso Tjhermorad

marchio posteriore

Anteriorità: word mark THERMRAD

Merceologicamente prodotti abbastanza affini.

Ecco il giudizio di Trib. UE 8 maro 2023 , T-172/22, Salim Selahaddin Gönenç  c. EUIPO-Solar A/S.

Visual similarity:

1) in the present case, the earlier word mark, consisting of the element ‘thermrad’, and the dominant word element of the mark applied for, ‘termorad’, are of the same length, both being formed of eight letters. They thus overlap in so far as they contain the sequence of the letter ‘t’ followed by the string of letters ‘erm’ and ‘rad’. However, those signs are differentiated by the letters ‘h’ and ‘o’ and, in the mark applied for, by the geometric shape contained in the letter ‘t’ and the expression ‘aluminium panel radiator’, as well as by the stylisation of the typeface used.

76      In the light of the analysis contained in paragraph 67 above, it is clear that the elements differentiating the signs at issue either occupy a secondary position owing to their purely decorative character, as regards the stylisation of the typeface and the red geometric component, or are negligible, so far as concerns the expression ‘aluminium radiator panel’, due to its reduced size and proportion. Consequently, it must be held that the similarities between the word elements ‘thermrad’ and ‘termorad’ in the signs at issue outweigh their differences, since, in the present case, those differences are not sufficient to attenuate the visual similarities.

77      Consequently, the Board of Appeal justifiably considered that the marks at issue were visually similar to a high degree.

Phonetic similarity:

In the present case, the signs at issue coincide phonetically in that the word elements ‘therm’ and ‘term’ sound identical when pronounced, since, as is apparent from paragraph 66 of the contested decision, the letter ‘h’ is not pronounced in German, Dutch or French. The sound of the syllable ‘rad’ is also the same in the signs at issue. On the other hand, they differ in the sound of the letter ‘o’ and the expression ‘aluminium panel radiator’ in the mark applied for.

83 As regards that expression, it should be found, as the Board of Appeal considered, that it is highly probable that it will be ignored by the relevant public given its descriptive character and the secondary position it occupies owing to its smaller size and position at the bottom of the mark applied for (see, to that effect, judgments of 11 September 2014, El Corte Inglés v OHIM – Baumarkt Praktiker Deutschland (PRO OUTDOOR), T‑127/13, not published, EU:T:2014:767, paragraph 53; of 7 June 2018, MIP Metro v EUIPO – AFNOR (N & NF TRADING), T‑807/16, not published, EU:T:2018:337, paragraph 48; and of 14 June 2018, Lion’s Head Global Partners v EUIPO – Lion Capital (LION’S HEAD global partners), T‑310/17, not published, EU:T:2018:344, paragraph 39).

84 Consequently, the Board of Appeal was entitled to find that the marks at issue were phonetically similar to a high degree.

Conceptual similarity:

<<the Board of Appeal found that, despite the fact that the word elements ‘thermrad’ and ‘termorad’ did not convey a clear concept in relation to the goods at issue, both signs contained a word element which referred to the concept of ‘heat’ or ‘temperature’, namely ‘therm’ and ‘termo’. Nevertheless, since that similarity was based on an element the distinctiveness of which was weak, the Board of Appeal concluded that the signs at issue were conceptually similar to at least a low degree.

86 Those findings of the Board of Appeal, which, moreover, are not disputed by the applicant, are free from error and must therefore be upheld>>.

Distintività del marchio anteriore: normale, § 95


<< 102  First of all, although the applicant insists, in the present case, that the distinctiveness of the earlier mark is weak, it has nevertheless been found, contrary to his assertion, that the distinctiveness of the earlier mark was normal.

103 Furthermore, it has been established that the goods covered by the mark applied for were identical or similar to the goods covered by the earlier mark. Similarly, as is apparent from paragraphs 77, 84 and 86 above, the signs at issue have a high degree of visual and phonetic similarity and a low degree of conceptual similarity.

104 In addition, the public to be taken into account for the purpose of examining the likelihood of confusion consists of both the general public and professionals, both displaying a high level of attention on account of the fact that the goods at issue are purchased infrequently and are expensive. In that regard, in so far as, in paragraph 82 of the contested decision, the Board of Appeal included in the assessment of the existence of a likelihood of confusion the part of the relevant public displaying a high level of attention, the Board of Appeal’s error, established in paragraph 34 above, is of no consequence.

105 In the light of all of the factors analysed above, it must be held that the conditions for finding that there is a likelihood of confusion are satisfied in the present case, on account of, in particular, the fact that the goods at issue are identical or similar and the overall similarity of the signs at issue, which are both formed of a fanciful and, therefore, distinctive word element in relation to those goods, and the normal distinctive character of the earlier mark, despite the high level of attention of the relevant public. Thus, in view of the interdependence of the various factors taken into account, it cannot be ruled out that the average consumer of the goods at issue residing in Benelux might believe that those goods come from the same undertaking or from economically linked undertakings.

106 Consequently, the complaint relating to the global assessment of the likelihood of confusion must be rejected>>.

OK. Ci  pare tuttavia assai dubbio che  il marchi odenominativo THERMRAD per <<<Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilation and water supply; radiators (heating); radiators for central heating’.>> sia valido in quanti mediament distintivit. Ci pare invee assai descrittivo e quindi nullo.