Decision on Opposition No B 2 543 877 page: 5 of 9
Notwithstanding the above, since, when perceiving a sign, consumers tend to break it
down into elements which, for them, suggest a specific meaning or which resemble
words known to them (13/02/2007, T-256/04, Respicur, EU:T:2007:46, § 57), it
cannot be excluded that the Polish public will break down the earlier mark’s element
‘MEDIDERM’ and the verbal element of the contested sign, ‘MEDIDERMA’, into the
elements ‘MEDI’ and ‘DERM(A)’, which are abbreviations of ‘medyczny’ and
‘dermatologiczny’, respectively, in Polish.
As these two elements (‘MEDI’ and ‘DERM(A)’) are allusive of the medical and
dermatological purposes of the goods in question, they both have a weak distinctive
character and neither element can be considered more distinctive than the other.
It follows from the above that the element ‘MEDIDERM(A)’ is the most distinctive
element in each sign.
Neither of the marks has any element that could be considered clearly more
dominant than other elements.
Visually, the signs coincide in the letters ‘MEDIDERM*’. However, they differ in the
final letter, ‘A’, of the contested sign’s verbal element and in the graphical depiction of
the contested sign.
The signs further differ in the additional expression ‘proprawia komfort życia’ of the
earlier mark, which, however, will be perceived as a mere promotional statement.
Therefore, the signs are visually similar to an average degree.
Aurally, the pronunciation of the signs coincides in the sound of the letters ‘ME-DI-
DERM’, present identically in both signs.
Considering its lack of distinctive character, it can reasonably be assumed that the
expression ‘proprawia komfort życia’ of the earlier mark will not be pronounced when
referring to that mark (07/02/2013, T-50/12, Metro Kids Company, EU:T:2013:68,
§ 42; 30/11/2011, T-477/10, SEc Sports Equipment, EU:T:2011:707, § 55;
16/09/2009, T-400/06, zerorh+, EU:T:2009:331, § 58; 18/09/2012, T-460/11, Burger,
EU:T:2012:432, § 48).
Accordingly, the only difference between the signs from the aural perspective lies in
the final letter, ‘A’, of the contested sign’s verbal element. Contrary to the applicant’s
claim, this additional letter does not afford the contested sign a significantly different
rhythm from that of the earlier mark and, when pronounced, ‘MEDIDERM’ and
‘MEDIDERMA’ will produce very similar aural impressions.
Therefore, the signs are aurally highly similar.
Conceptually, reference is made to the previous assertions concerning the semantic
content conveyed by the marks. As explained above, although neither ‘MEDIDERM’
nor ‘MEDIDERMA’ has any meaning as a whole, they will both be perceived as
referring to the medical (‘MED’) and dermatological (‘DERM’/‘DERMA’) purposes of
the goods and services in question. Since the additional, meaningful, elements in the
earlier mark (the words ‘proprawia komfort życia’) have a low distinctive character,
they will have limited conceptual impact. It follows from the above that the marks are
conceptually highly similar.