Coca-Cola fails to prevent registration of FANTASTIKA

The Estonian Board of Appeal has issued its decision in opposition proceedings involving beverage companies The Coca-Cola Company and Cido Partikas Grupa SIA (Case 939-o, April 21 2008).
Cido, a Latvian-based juice and soft drink producer belonging to Scandinavian brewery Royal Unibrew A/S, applied for the registration of the trademark FANTASTIKA in Estonia. US soft drink company Coca-Cola opposed the application based on its earlier registered trademark FANTA.
The Board of Appeal recognized that:
  • the marks shared similar figurative elements;
  • the goods covered by the marks were identical; and
  • FANTA is a well-known and highly distinctive trademark.
However, the board concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion among consumers due to:
  • the different colour schemes of the marks;
  • the different lengths of the words ‘fanta’ and ‘fantastika’; and
  • the semantic differences between the marks.
The board did not consider the risk of dilution of the FANTA mark, as the opposition was based only on the grounds of likelihood of confusion. However, the board pointed out that it is more likely to find a risk of confusion where the later mark:
  •  is shorter than the earlier mark; and
  • has no particular meaning.
Almar Sehver, AAA Legal Services, Tallinn

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