Dior victorious in opposition against Bulgarian resident

Bulgaria

French luxury goods company Dior has been successful in cancellation proceedings before the Bulgarian Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

On March 20 2013 the Bulgarian PTO issued a decision partially invalidating the trademark DILOR (National registration No 48175) registered in Classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 21 of the Nice Classification in the name of a Bulgarian resident, Deissam Abbas.

Based on the evidence and arguments submitted by the parties, the PTO decided that there were visual and phonetic similarities between the contested mark and the earlier mark DIOR. The PTO ruled that use of the contested mark would take unfair advantage of, and be detrimental to, the reputation and the distinctive character of the earlier mark.

The PTO noted that the earlier mark DIOR has a reputation on the territory of Bulgaria with respect to goods in Class 3. The PTO declared that the goods in Class 3 covered by the earlier mark and the goods in Classes 3, 5, 7 and 21 covered by the contested mark were similar.

The PTO further ruled that the application of Article 12(3) of the Bulgarian Law on Marks and Geographical Indications requires a certain degree of similarity between the marks in question, by virtue of which the relevant section of the public will make a connection between the marks without necessarily confusing them.

The PTO considered that it would be detrimental to the reputation of the earlier mark if it was no longer capable of creating an immediate association with the goods for which it was registered. The PTO concluded that the capacity of the earlier mark to create an immediate association with Dior and the goods for which the mark is well known would be diminished by the registration of the contested mark.

However, the PTO dismissed the cancellation action as unfounded with regard to the goods in Classes 1, 2 and 4.

The decision can be appealed to the Administrative Court Sofia City, pursuant to Article 50, Paragraph 1 of the Law on Marks and Geographical Indications, within three months of its notification (ie, by July 12 2013).

Valeri Penev, PETOŠEVIC, Sofia

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