Brands Update — March 2014: the Board of Appeal likes Parobook’s status

Facebook has had mixed fortunes in its opposition to a Community trademark (CTM) that it perceived to be similar to its own name.

In 2011, David Manzanero Martin filed a CTM application for the word ‘Parobook’ in a stylised form and covering a range of goods and services. The mark was the name of a social network for unemployed Spanish people. Facebook opposed, citing likelihood of confusion and the applicant was taking unfair advantage of its marks, which, between them, cover goods and services in the same classes as the application.

The Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM) found that Facebook’s prior rights enjoyed a high degree of reputation for certain services relating to social networking. However, such reputation was found not to extend to goods and services unrelated to social networking…

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