Yamanouchi fails to extend protection of OCAS mark

Hungary

In Soyana Walter Dänzer v Yamanouchi Europe BV (1.Pk.22034/2002/3), the Metropolitan Court has upheld the Hungarian Patent Office's (HPO) decision to reject the defendant's application to extend protection of its OCAS mark for pharmaceuticals to Hungary. The court agreed that (i) OCAS was confusingly similar to the plaintiff's OJAS mark, and (ii) the two marks covered similar goods.

The European arm of Japanese pharmaceutical giant Yamanouchi applied to extend protection to Hungary of its OCAS mark for goods in Class 5 of the Nice Classification. The application was opposed by Soyana Walter Dänzer, a Swiss company, on the grounds that it was confusingly similar to its OJAS mark covering various products in the same international class. Yamanouchi replied that the marks are spelt and pronounced differently. It also argued that although both marks covered goods in Class 5, its mark related to specialized pharmaceutical products, whereas Soyana was using its OJAS mark for other types of goods.

The HPO refused to allow registration of Yamanouchi's mark. It held that the marks (i) were confusingly similar, and (ii) covered similar goods pursuant to Article 4(1)(b) of the Hungarian Trademark Act as both sets of goods were covered by the general terms of Class 5.

Yamanouchi appealed but the Metropolitan Court upheld the HPO's decision.

Gabriella Sasvári, SBG & K Patent and Law Office, Budapest

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