Decision on Opposition No B 2 452 228 page: 4 of 6
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).
The earlier mark is a figurative mark composed of the following letters, words and
numbers: ‘F’, ‘Franzeluta’ and ‘FONDAT IN 1947’. The elements ‘F’ and ‘Franzeluta’
are written in slightly stylised characters, whereas the phrase ‘FONDAT IN 1947’ is
depicted in rather standard letters. The elements ‘F’ and ‘Franzeluta’ are much larger
than the phrase ‘FONDAT IN 1947’. The earlier sign has also some figurative
elements, namely a red-gold-beige circle in which the letter ‘F’ and three ears of grain
appear (above) and a rectangular red-beige-white background with a rounded bottom
side in which the word ‘Franzeluta’ is depicted (below). To the latter element another
figurative component is attached, that is, a rectangular where the aforesaid phrase
‘FONDAT IN 1947’ appears.
The contested sign is a word mark composed of a single verbal element
The word ‘FRANZELUTA’, present in both marks under comparison, has no meaning
and therefore it is distinctive with regard to the goods in question.
The other distinctive element of the earlier mark is the letter ‘F’ as it has no meaning
with regard to the goods in question. Regarding the phrase ‘FONDAT IN 1947’ of the
earlier mark it will be understood by most of the relevant public as ‘founded in
1947’/’established in 1947’. Trade marks, especially in the foodstuff sector, often
contain information concerning the foundation date of their proprietors. In the above
this phrase will be perceived rather as an indication to the date in which the opponent
was established. Therefore, this expression is weak. The figurative elements being
three ears of grain are also weak as they can allude to the nature of the goods in
question. With regard to the rest of figurative elements of the earlier mark, they are of
a decorative character and are therefore non-distinctive. Also the stylisation of the
letters in the earlier sign is decorative and therefore should be defined as secondary.
The contested sign, being a one-word mark, has no element that could be
considered clearly more dominant than other elements. With regard to the earlier
mark the elements ‘F’, depicted in a red circle and ‘FRANZELUTA’ in a red rectangle
are the most dominant elements as they are the most eye-catching.
Visually, the signs coincide in ‘FRANZELUTA’. However, concerning their verbal
elements they differ in the single letter ‘F’ and the expression ‘FONDAT IN 1947’.
Furthermore, the signs differ in the figurative elements of the earlier mark described
Therefore, the signs are similar visually to an average degree.
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
‘FRANZELUTA’, present identically in both signs. The pronunciation differs in the
sound of the letter ‛F’ and the phrase ‘FONDAT IN 1947’ of the earlier sign, which
have no counterparts in the contested mark. Therefore, the signs are aurally highly
It is likely that the public, when referring to the earlier mark, would pronounce only
the word ‘FRANZELUTA’ because the letter ‘F’ will be perceived as the initial letter of