Brands Update — April 2014: a loss of Zensations

HCI filed an application for the figurative mark ZENSATIONS for the ‘commercial retailing of soaps, perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions and dentifrices’ and ‘medical services; physiotherapy, health services, balneotherapy, aromatherapy and massages, beauty and hairdressing salons’. This application was opposed by Shiseido on the basis of its earlier rights for ZEN covering ‘soaps, perfumery, eau de cologne, toilet water, essential oils, body deodorants, cosmetic products for the care and beautification of the skin, of the face and the body, cosmetic preparations for the bath, make-up, haircare cosmetics, suncare products and incense’ and ‘beauty salons, hairdressing salons, healthcare and beauty care, manicuring and massage services’.

Shiseido’s opposition was dismissed by Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). However, the Board of Appeal annulled OHIM’s decision and refused HCI’s application for the figurative mark ZENSATIONS. The EU General Court (GC) upheld the Board of Appeal’s decision confirming that there was a likelihood of confusion between the figurative mark ZENSATIONS and the earlier mark ZEN. The GC based its decision on the following…

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