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EUROPEAN UNION: Louis Vuitton Versus Its Mirror
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Opposition Division has rejected Louis Vuitton Malletier’s opposition (B.3 133 780) against the figurative mark NL LOVES VITTORIO, filed by Aina Yang on January 14, 2022 (application number 018306124). Louis Vuitton relied upon EU Trade Mark (EUTM) and International Registrations. The parties’ respective marks are shown below:
The contested mark consists of “NL” or “LN” letters, with no specific meaning and the words “Loves Vittorio.” The EUIPO considered the mark distinctive and deemed the letters, depicted in italics, to be recognizable and perceptible. Additionally, after evaluating the phrase “Loves Vittorio,” and given that “love” is a commonly used English word, the EUIPO accepted the word “Vittorio” as distinctive. Further, the EUIPO found the letters “NL” or “LN” can be understood to be the initials of a person who loves a person named Vittorio.
According to the decision, the marks are considered marginally visually similar. The only letter in common is L, which is part of a two-letter design (with that letter L in italics and the two letters juxtaposed). It also determined that the marks are aurally similar to a very low degree. As such, the EUIPO found that the stylized letters will not deceive consumers and the phrase in the contested mark removes the possibility of the confusion among consumers.
Louis Vuitton also invoked Article 8(5) of the EUTM Regulation 1001/2017, which provides that a trademark application can be refused if an earlier mark enjoys a reputation where it is registered, and where, if used, the trademark applied for would be detrimental to, or take unfair advantage of, the distinctive character or repute of the earlier right. Despite the fact that Louis Vuitton has relied upon its well-known status in the EU, no evidence was submitted concerning the reputation of its trademark in the course of the proceedings.
The opposition was rejected in its entirety.
Kerem GÖKMEN - Partner / Trademark Attorney
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