CAMUS mark goes up in smoke
In Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH v Camus "La Grande Marque" SA (Case 502-o, October 22 2004), the Estonian Board of Appeal has upheld an opposition to the registration of a CAMUS mark for goods in Class 34 of the Nice Classification.
Camus "La Grande Marque" SA, a French company that produces alcoholic beverages, extended its international registration of the CAMUS word mark for goods in Class 34 to Estonia. The Estonian Patent Office allowed registration. German cigarette manufacturer Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH filed an opposition to the registration with the Board of Appeal, arguing that the mark was confusingly similar to its earlier CAMPUS word mark registered in Estonia for the same type of goods.
Camus refuted the claim, stating that the pronunciation and meanings of the marks were different. It also pointed out that its CAMUS mark is well known around the world, including Estonia. However, this evidence referred to the mark as used in conjunction with cognac and not goods in Class 34.
The Board of Appeal upheld Reemtsma's opposition. It concluded that as the marks were (i) for similar goods, and (ii) of a similar appearance, confusion was likely.
Urmas Kernu, AAA Legal Services, Tallinn
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