A recent case has illustrated that, when it comes to trade marks, first impressions are important.
In the case concerned, a firm sought to oppose a trade mark application by another firm which has a similar name and was in a similar business. The firm seeking to oppose the application already held existing trade marks with regard to its products.
The High Court ruled that the risk of ‘initial interest confusion’ would lead to infringement of the trade mark, despite the fact that a more detailed review would allow a potential customer to distinguish between the two firms and their products, so that there would no longer be any confusion by the time a purchase was made.
The Court refused to accept the application by the firm seeking to register similar trade marks, in spite of the argument that the trade marks were based on the nickname of the firm’s proprietor.
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