LAND ROVER (private unlimited company) v. LWMC Ltd.

LAND ROVER (private unlimited company)


The visual, phonetic and, in some languages, even conceptual dissimilarities are considered sufficient to provide the marks with a dissimilar overall impression despite of the similarities that exist between the marks because of their first four letters in common. Moreover, these dissimilarities will be particularly perceived by the relevant public, who will be highly attentive due to the nature of the goods involved in Class 12. Thus, since the signs are dissimilar, there is no likelihood of confusion between both trade marks. The trade mark ‘LAND ROVER enjoys a high reputation in relation to ‘apparatus for locomotion by land, namely 4x4 vehicles. Consequently, from the assessment of the evidence submitted, and independently of whether the earlier mark has an inherent distinctive character or not, the mark ‘LAND ROVER has an enhanced distinctiveness acquired through its use. This acquired enhanced distinctiveness cannot be considered diminished by the fact that the word ‘LAND exists in different European languages, such as English. The enhanced distinctiveness of the earlier mark ‘LAND ROVER affects the mark as a whole as it is a direct consequence of its use as a unit on the market, i.e. the relevant sector of the public will recognise the whole sign as a trade mark and because of that, will not perceive the word ‘LAND as additional information about the goods involved in Class 12. In the present case, the earlier word marks and the mark applied for are word marks that consist of two words, the first one of the earlier mark (‘LAND) being identical to the beginning of the first word of the mark applied for (‘LANDWIND) and their second words (‘ROVER / ‘FASHION) being totally different. Further to these verbal differences, the earlier figurative trade marks have also different figurative elements when they are compared to the mark applied for. It has already been found that the signs at issue are not similar. The fact that the word ‘LAND is not an element on its own in the mark applied for as well as their different composition, introduce important visual and phonetic differences in the overall impression of the marks. Thus, the similarities between the conflicting trade marks cannot enable consumers to establish a link between them since the ‘LAND element of the earlier marks has no independent distinctive role in the sign applied for. The beginning ‘LAND in the contested mark will not be considered by the consumer in isolation but as an integrating part of the sole word ‘LANDWIND or even of the complex sign ‘LANDWIND FASHION. Moreover, as explained above, the enhanced distinctiveness of the earlier marks affects the mark ‘LAND ROVER as a whole and not the ‘LAND element alone. Consequently, the Board considers that the mere coincidence of the marks on their beginnings on these four letters, taking into account their role in the overall impression of the signs, cannot lead to conclude that the public will establish a link between the marks, even when they identify identical goods on the same market. The appeal is dismissed.

Comparison of Trademarks


Landwind Fashion