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    CFI rules PRAZOL and PREZAL word marks confusingly similar

    The CFI has annulled an OHIM Board of Appeal decision, and upheld an opposition to the registration of the word mark PRAZOL as a Community trade mark in class 5 for medicines. The opposition was based on the earlier Benelux registration of the word mark PREZAL for, among other things, pharmaceutical products in class 5. The court held that the Board of Appeal had been right to find that the relevant public, consisting of professionals and end-consumers, was likely to display an above-average level of attention. However it disagreed with the Board, ruling that overall, the respective marks were very similar both visually, as they included four common consonants which appeared in the same order, and phonetically, as they had the same or similar characteristic sounds. On a conceptual level neither mark had any meaning, at least for end-consumers, with the result that a likelihood of confusion could not be ruled out.

    PLC Magazine 31.10.08