The lion's den

ING-logo-v2One of the biggest banks in the Netherlands is the ING. The significant business identifiers of ING are the orange color as well the lion (you might think that everything is orange in Holland as orange is our national color, but still, the color is quite unusual in trademarks).
ING has protected its trademarks through several registrations. Of course, the usual ING logo (the lion with the ING) but also the lion separately, as this logo is used also without the word ING.
Recently a Czech citizen applied for the trademark (right) in the European Union. The specification covered a.o. financial services. Although ING cannot claim the concept of a lion, the various registrations helped in this case. The opposition was based on several trademarks among which the logo on the left.
The EUIPO found the trademarks conceptual similar. But this is often not sufficient for a likelihood of confusion, a visual similarity is required. Since the logo’s also share a (average) visual resemblance according the EUIPO, the opposition was well-founded.
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