An apple a day: trademarks and phonetically similar words

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By Carol Nyahasha

Apple opposed three UK applications of Ltd, relying on various UK and CTM word marks for the ‘apple’ word mark.

Each application was opposed on the grounds (i) that there existed a likelihood of confusion between the Apple and Wapple marks and (ii) that the Wapple marks would take unfair advantage and cause detriment to the distinctive character or repute of the Apple marks and (iii) of Apple’s passing-off rights. Apple also relied on the word ‘apple’ being a well-known trademark…

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