Court refuses to comment further in COMMA Case

The Maritime and Commercial Court has issued its decision in S Oliver Bernd Freier GmbH & Co KG v Komma I/S v/Bo Schaltz Hansen (Case V 38-08, June 29 2009).
The plaintiff, S Oliver Bernd Freier GmbH & Co KG, was founded in Germany in 1969 and owns a number of trademarks, including various international and Community registrations for the mark COMMA. S Oliveralso owns a number of shops that sell clothes, accessories and shoes in Germany and other countries under the designation 'Comma'.

The defendant, Komma I/S v/Bo Schaltz Hansen, owns two shops in Denmark that sell ladies clothes, jewellery, accessories and shoes under the designation 'Komma'. In 2006 Komma applied for the registration of KOMMA as a device mark.

S Oliver claimed that Komma should:
  • cease its use of the KOMMA mark;
  • delete its registration of the mark; and
  • delete the company name Komma.  
Komma disagreed and further claimed that S Olivershould delete its registrations in certain classes.

Not surprisingly, the court found that the trademarks COMMA and KOMMA were confusingly similar. However, of interest are the court's remarks regarding Komma's claim that S Oliver'strademark should be deleted from certain classes. The court declined to make a judgment on this point, stating as follows:

"As an admission of these counterclaims would not alter the outcome of the matter, which does not have a registration of the trademarks in question for those classes which are claimed to be deleted as precondition, the court does not find any reason to make a judgment concerning the claims."
Mads Marstrand-Jorgensen, Norsker & Co, Copenhagen

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