3 sept. 2011

"The Economist" establishes hegemony over other languages

Spanish trademark "El Economista" lost appellate proceedings to the UK trademark "The Economist" before the OHIM on 05/08/2011.

The Board of Appeal concluded that the trademarks are "visually similar at least to an average degree", since both contain the word "ECONOMIST", "THE" and "EL" have a common letter "E", and the Spanish letter "A" is at the end (marginality)(§ 28). Thus, the Board did not give any meaning to the colors (orange v black style), and to the fact that colors distinguish "ECO" from "NOMISTA" in the Spanish version.

According to the Board, the letters "ECONOMIST" are pronounced in the same manner, and it means that the aural similarity is "above average" (§ 29). Thus, the fact that in English we make accent on "CO", and in Spanish on "MI", did not had a value.

According to the Board of Appeal, both trademarks are conceptually "similar" (§ 30), and the fact that these are different languages is not a decisive factor.

In certain cases this decision will delete linguistic borders among Germanic, Romanic, and possibly also Slavic and Baltic languages.

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