JPO: Trademark “Klaus” Registrable – dissimilar to “CLAUS”
March 24, 2023
|Appeal Number||Rejection 2022-012110 (JP Appl. No. 2021-138753)|
Even if “Klaus” and “CLAUS” may have sounds in common, it is possible to distinguish the trademarks in appearance, though it is not possible to compare the trademarks in meaning.
|Date of Decision||
February 21, 2023
Applied-for-trademark: Klaus (Standard characters)
Cited trademark: CLAUS (Standard characters)
|Designated Goods/Services and Class(es)||
Designated goods and services of applied-for-trademark: Saddlery in class 18, and others.
The applied-for-trademark consists of letter string “Klaus” in standard characters. “Klaus” is not a listed word in common dictionaries. With the above in mind, “Klaus” has a pronunciation of “Klaus” corresponding to the letter string and has no specific meaning.
(2) Cited trademark:
The cited trademark consists of letter string “CLAUS” in standard characters. “CLAUS” is not a listed word in common dictionaries. With the above in mind, “CLAUS” has a pronunciation of “CLAUS” and others corresponding to the letter string and has no specific meaning.
(3) Comparison of Applied-for-trademark and Cited trademark:
As for appearance, both trademarks have “laus (LAUS)”, four out of five letters, in common. However, both trademarks are distinguishable in appearance because the beginning letter, relatively conspicuous and impressive portion, of the applied-for-trademark “K” and that of the cited trademark “C” are different and because it is possible to understand that both trademarks indicate different words. As for sound, both trademarks may have sounds in common. In addition, as for meaning, it is not possible to compare both trademarks because they do not have any specific meaning.
Even if both trademarks may have sounds in common, it is possible to distinguish both trademarks in appearance, though it is not possible to compare both trademarks in meaning. With all the above in mind, it is not possible to consider that both trademarks are similar because there is no likelihood of misleading/confusion when used on identical/similar goods.
As mentioned above, both trademarks are dissimilar even without comparing designated goods. Thus, the applied-for-trademark should be registered.
The applicant recited the following co-existing registered trademarks in their argument to show that they were considered dissimilar and accepted due to a difference of “C” or “K” though remaining portions are the same in letter strings regardless of similarity of designated goods:
– “CURE” and “KURE”;