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12 March 2018Big Pharma

Recordati suffers TM setback at General Court

Pharmaceutical company Recordati suffered a setback last week after the EU General Court dismissed its appeal over a trademark registration.

Back in 2013, France-based Recordati applied to register ‘Normosang’ as an EU trademark covering “Pharmaceutical preparations containing human hemin” in class 5.

Soon after, Spanish company Laboratorios Normon filed a notice of opposition based on three earlier Spanish marks—‘Normon’, ‘Normovite’ and ‘Normoxacina’—and international mark ‘Normon’.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) Opposition Division upheld the opposition on the ground that there was a likelihood of confusion with the Spanish mark ‘Normon’.

Recordati appealed against the decision, but the EUIPO’s Fifth Board of Appeal dismissed the application in November 2016.

The appeal board held that the existence and validity of the Spanish mark had been proved and that Laboratorios Normon had submitted sufficient evidence to prove genuine use. When comparing the marks, the Board of Appeal found that they were visually and phonetically similar to an average degree.

Again, Recordati appealed against the decision, this time to the General Court.

On Thursday, March 8, the General Court rejected Recordati’s first plea, that Laboratorios Normon’s evidence is not sufficient to establish the existence of the ‘Normon’ mark, after finding that all of the information required is contained in a renewal certificate submitted by the Spanish company.

Recordati’s second plea consisted of six complaints, including arguments that the EUIPO had incorrectly assessed the comparison of the signs and likelihood confusion.

The General Court noted that the appeal board had not erred when comparing the marks or finding a likelihood of confusion.

“Accordingly, as all the arguments raised in support of the [complaint] alleging that there is no likelihood of confusion have been rejected, the contested decision cannot, contrary to what the applicant contends, be regarded as vitiated by error in that it finds that there is a likelihood of confusion between the marks at issue,” said the court.

All of Recordati’s appeal was dismissed and the pharmaceutical company was ordered to pay costs.

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