Decision on Opposition No B 2 720 590 page: 5 of 8
c) The signs
Earlier trade mark Contested sign
The relevant territory is the European Union.
The global appreciation of the visual, aural or conceptual similarity of the marks in
question must be based on the overall impression given by the marks, bearing in
mind, in particular, their distinctive and dominant components (11/11/1997, C-251/95,
Sabèl, EU:C:1997:528, § 23).
Both marks are word marks. The earlier mark consists of the text ‘DBR1’ and the
contested mark consists of the text ‘DBPOWER’.
The earlier mark has no meaning for the relevant public and is, therefore, distinctive.
As to the contested mark, ‘DBPOWER’ bears no meaning as such in the relevant
languages. However, at least the English-speaking part of the relevant public will
most likely single out the component ‘POWER’ in this mark, which will be understood
as, inter alia, ‘the ability or capacity to do something’; ‘energy, especially electricity,
that is obtained in large quantities from a fuel source and used to operate lights,
heating, and machinery’ or ‘great ability to do, act, or affect strongly; vigor; force;
strength’ (information extracted from Collins English Dictionary online edition on
6/11/2017, https://goo.gl/UNfacz), and (if perceived as such) may be seen, by the
English-speaking part of the public, as being allusive of the characteristics of some of
the contested goods, such as navigational instruments, personal stereos, network
communication apparatus in Class 9 and electronic toys in Class 28. On the other
hand, this element is not allusive in respect of other contested goods such as diving
suits in Class 9 and caps for pistols [toys] in Class 28, and is therefore distinctive.
As to the remaining element ‘DB-‘, it will not be associated with any particular
concept by English speaking consumers. However, although allusive, the
distinctiveness of the expression ‘DBPOWER’ as a whole is not called into question.
For the remaining part of the relevant public with no knowledge of English, the
designation ‘DBPOWER’ is a fanciful expression and therefore it is distinctive in
relation to the contested goods.
Visually, the signs coincide in two letters, ‘DB’ placed at the beginning of the signs.
However, they differ in the remainder ‘-R1’ in the earlier mark and ‘POWER’ in the
contested mark. Moreover, the marks differ in their overall structure and length, since
the contested mark is made up of seven letters whereas the earlier mark is a
combination of three letters and one number.
In the view of the above it is concluded that the marks are visually similar to a low
Aurally, irrespective of the different pronunciation rules in different parts of the
relevant territory, the pronunciation of the signs coincides in the sound of the letters