The crux of this case was whether the marks WILD PINK and PINK LADY are similar or dissimilar. The reader is invited to form a view, then read on.
The applicant filed an EUTM for WILD PINK, covering fruit and other food items. This was opposed by the owner of earlier national and EUTM registrations for PINK LADY for the same goods.
The initial opposition was rejected. The Board of Appeal confirmed that decision, finding that the two marks were dissimilar and therefore not going on to consider likelihood of confusion.
The EU General Court agreed with the Board of Appeal on these points:
However, the General Court then went on to reach different findings:
The marks WILD PINK and PINK LADY could not therefore be said to be dissimilar. The Board of Appeal's decision on that basis was therefore annulled.
The opposition will therefore now have to be looked at again but on the basis that there is a level of similarity between the marks. In other words, there will now have to be an assessment of whether there is a likelihood of confusion between them. The end result of the opposition is likely to be the same.
Case Ref: T-146/17