0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

‘relevant public’ key to lack of similarity with Volvo trade mark

6 December 2013

An OHIM decision to dismiss Volvo’s opposition to a figurative sign Community trade mark containing the word SOLVO has been upheld by the EU General Court. The SOLVO application covered class 9 goods to Volvo’s registration – computer programs for warehouse management systems and for container terminal systems. There was no likelihood of similarity between SOLVO and VOLVO despite the identity of the goods and the high level of distinctiveness of Volvo’s earlier mark.

Phonetic similarities between the marks were outweighed by the marks’ visual dissimilarities. The key in this case – as in SHS Polar Sistemas Informáticos SL – was the relevant public; for this mark they were likely to be a specialist one displaying a high degree of attentiveness.

Mark owners/applicants should consider the characteristics and content of the product their mark relates to; a product which prospective purchasers would need to scrutinise the characteristics and content of, and ascertain the identity of its producer before purchasing, will negate similarities within another mark.

Related opinions

Flexible working, childcare and indirect sex discrimination – important reminder

The courts have long recognised that, on a societal level, women bear a greater burden of childcare responsibilities than men which can make it more difficult for women to comply with employer requirements for flexible working (known as the ‘childcare disparity’).

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Supreme Court awards compensation to a Professor for an invention created during his employment

A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Shanks v Unilever PLC has supported the right for employees to receive compensation for patented inventions if the invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’.

View blog

Declan Cushley

Declan Cushley

Partner and Head of IP and Commercial Group

View profile

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up