Beyond Retro And Beyond Vintage Trade Marks Are Similar

Date Added 28.08.14

The owner of trade mark ‘Beyond Retro’ has successfully convinced the EU General Court of Justice that ‘Beyond Vintage’ is too similar to its own mark, in a successful challenge to a previous ruling by the European Community trade marks registry that it was not.

The court noted that consumers were more likely to take more notice of words at the beginning of a trade mark, and that there was a conceptual similarity between the words ‘retro’ and ‘vintage’ when considered as a whole and in relation to the relevant goods – in this case, clothing with a style based on the past. There was therefore a high degree of similarity between the two marks.

Recommendation

Trade mark owners should monitor other businesses using or registering a mark with the same first word, and with other conceptually similar elements to their own, as they may now be able to prevent the other business from using that mark.

Case ref: Beyond Retro Ltd v OHIM, T 170/12, 30 April 2014

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