TomTom, known for its navigation systems, recently filed an opposition against the European trademark HOMTOM, filed for amongst others computers, telephones and telephone equipment.
What we often see in European case law is that the beginning of the marks is important in the overall assessment whether or not trademarks are resembling. Will the difference of the T and the H be sufficient in order to prevent confusion?
No. First of all EUIPO finds the marks distinctive and no part of the marks can be regarded as dominant. Visually, the trademarks show a similarity to an average degree. So, the difference in the first letter is not enough to create sufficient distance between the marks as the element -OMTOM is identical in both marks. According to EUIPO, the signs are aurally similar to a high degree.
In view of the overall impression of the trademarks, EUIPO finds a risk of confusion and rejects HOMTOM for the majority of the products and services in the specification.
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