Decision on Opposition No B 2 723 016 page: 5 of 8
be seen as alluding to the fact that the goods are of a specific character as they are
intended for professionals.
Therefore, the word ‘TECNO’ even if perceived as an abbreviation of the term
‘technology’ by the relevant public, still remains distinctive as mentioned above. In
particular it must be noted that it is more distinctive than the laudatory element ‘PRO’.
It will therefore attract the attention of the trade circles over the weak term ‘PRO’.
The contested mark is also a figurative mark consisting of two verbal elements,
namely ‘TECHNO’ and ‘BODY’. Even written as one word, the element ‘BODY’ is
clearly discernible as it is written, contrary to the first part ‘TECHNO’, in bold letters.
Furthermore, the element ‘BODY’ is underlined by a blue line which ends after the
last letter ‘Y’ like a Zig-Zac. As well here, the English speaking public will associate
‘TECHNO’ with ‘technology’, and it is not a common word or abbreviation used as a
reference to the quality or characteristics of the goods at hand which were found
identical, namely clothing and footwear. It is therefore distinctive.
Furthermore, the contested mark contains the verbal element ‘BODY’ after
‘TECHNO’, which will be recognised by the English-speaking consumers. As
opposed to the word ‘TECHNO’, it immediately provides these trade circles with
information on the contents of the goods, for the protection of which the contested
mark is claimed, i.e. either items of clothing called a body (a common abbreviation for
bodysuit) or in general that the products bearing this sign are used for the human
body. Therefore, this element is weak.
Neither the earlier mark nor the contested sign contain an element that could be
considered clearly more dominant than other elements.
Visually, the marks coincide in the sequence of identical letters ‘T-E-C—N-O’ placed
at the beginning of both marks. The marks differ visually to the extent that the mark
applied for has the additional letter ‘H’ in the first verbal element, and the additional,
however weak, verbal elements ‘PRO’ and ‘BODY’ placed at the end of the
respective marks, as well as in the figurative elements. In addition the verbal
elements ‘PRO’ and ‘BODY’ are weak and consequently their impact is limited.
Furthermore, some differences lay in the figurative and graphic elements described
above. Therefore the signs are visually similar to an average degree.
Aurally, the graphical elements are not pronounced. According to English
pronunciation rules the marks will be pronounced as |TECH-NO-PRO| and |TEC-NO-
BO-DY|. Both marks have in common the identically pronounced first two syllables |
TEC-NO| given that the letter ‘H’ of the contested mark is silent. Furthermore, the
verbal elements ‘PRO’ and ‘BODY’ are weak terms. taking into account the same
structure and the identical sound of the first two syllables (TEC-NO) of the conflicting
signs, and the fact that the beginnings of the marks have a greater impact since
consumers tend to focus their attention on the beginning rather than on the ending, it
is concluded that the marks are considered aurally similar to an average degree.
Conceptually, although the signs as a whole do not have any meaning for the public
in the relevant territory, the element ‘TEC(-H-)NO’, included in both signs, will be
associated with the meaning explained above. Furthermore, the additional elements
‘PRO’ and ‘BODY’ are weak and do not change the meaning of the elements
‘TECNO/TECHNO’ (see, decision of 25 February 2010, R 62/2009-2
‘SERVICEPOINT (Fig. Mark)/ServicePoint (Fig. Mark) et al.’, para. 25, confirmed by
judgment of 30 May 2013, T- 218/10, ‘Servicepoint’, paras 39 to 41). To that extent,
the signs are conceptually highly similar as both evoke the concept of technology.