Dior Victorious in Opposition against Bulgarian Resident
French luxury-goods company Dior was successful in a recent cancellation proceeding before the Bulgarian PTO.
On March 20, 2013, the Bulgarian PTO issued a decision partially invalidating trademark “Dilor” (national registration No. 48175, in classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 21) in the name of the Bulgarian resident Deissam Abbas.
On the basis of the submitted evidence and arguments, the PTO decided that there are visual and phonetic similarities between the earlier and the contested mark. The PTO ruled that the use of the contested mark takes unfair advantage of and is detrimental to the reputation and the distinctive character of the earlier mark.
The earlier mark “Dior” has a reputation on the territory of Bulgaria with respect to the goods in IC 3. The PTO declared that the goods in IC 3 and the goods in classes 3, 5, 7 and 21, are similar.
The PTO ruled that the application of Article 12 (3) of the Bulgarian Law on Marks and Geographical Indications (LMGI) requires a certain degree of similarity between the marks in question, by virtue of which the relevant section of the public makes a connection between the contested and the earlier mark without necessarily confusing them.
The PTO considered that it is detrimental for the established reputation of the earlier mark when the mark, which at one time resulted in immediate association with the goods for which it was registered, is no longer capable of doing so. Therefore, the PTO ruled that the capacity of the earlier mark to result in immediate association with the applicant and the goods for which it is well known would be diminished by the existence of the contested mark.
However, the PTO dismissed the rest of the invalidity action for classes 1, 2 and 4 as unfounded.
The decision can be appealed before the Administrative Court Sofia City pursuant to Article 50, Paragraph 1 of the LMGI within three months of the notification thereof, i.e. by July 12, 2013.
By: Valeri Penev
For more information, please contact Valeri Penev at our Bulgaria office.
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