Glamour vs. Glamour Tudor

The European General Court (EGC) decided that the trademark “GLAMOUR” cannot be registered as Community Trademark because there is likelihood of confusion to the older trademark “TUDOR GLAMOUR” (Case T-1/13 dated July 4, 2014). Introduction Likelihood of confusion is based on the risk that the average consumers could assume that the relevant goods and services derive from the same or connected companies. Therefore, various factors need to be taken into account. On the one hand side, the specific goods and services of the applied for mark and the earlier sign need to be evaluated. On the other hand, the script, sound and meaning of the two trademarks have to be compared. Background of the Case and Subject Matter Advance Magazine Publisher Inc. headquartered in the United States filed an application to register the word mark “GLAMOUR” as a Community Trademark for different goods and services including jewelry and watches. Thereon, the watch manufacturer Montres Tudor SA from Switzerland filed an opposition based on their Community Trademark “TUDOR GLAMOUR” for jewelry and watches. The Opposition Division and the Board of Appeal decided that “GLAMOUR” cannot be registered because there is likelihood of confusion to “TUDOR GLAMOUR”.  


 Decision The EGC compared the signs and took note of the fact that both designations share the component “GLAMOUR”. Then the court pointed out that according to the size, number of letters and syllables the word “GLAMOUR” is as important as the first element “TUDOR” within the earlier trademark. The differences between the two signs are not sufficient to rule out the phonetic and visual similarity stemming from the identical second word “GLAMOUR” which is the only part of the trademark. The word “GLAMOUR” stands for splendor and prestige and the word “TUDOR” refers to the Tudor dynasty which was a royal house of Welsh origin which ruled the Kingdom of England in the 15th and 16th centuries. Therefore, the part of the relevant public with English and especially English history knowledge will recognize that the background of both trademarks is different. But, it appears to be problematic that a non-negligible part of the average consumer has no in depth knowledge about the English history and therefore this part will not understand the issue of the word “TUDOR”. On the other hand the word “GLAMOUR” is known by a huge part of the relevant public, who is command of standard English. For this major part of the relevant public which has no English and English history skills the component “TUDOR” has no meaning. Consequently, the majority of the average consumer will only perceive “GLAMOUR” as the main and dominant component. Therefore the court decided that a likelihood of confusion exists and the application “GLAMOUR” is confusingly similar to the prior trademark “TUDOR GLAMOUR” and therefore may not be registered.