In 3 decisions (C 18/2, C 18/3 and C 18/4), Office Freylinger’s team won a long-standing opposition case (started in 2013 …) followed by an appeal before the Benelux Court of Justice, where the marks NUTRILIFE and NUTRILITE have been found dissimilar. The decision is based on the weak distinctive character of the earlier trademark NUTRILITE, and of conceptual differences between the signs.
Said decisions, following the arguments developed by our team and adopted by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, are clearly defining the extent of protection granted to weak trademarks, composed only or mainly of descriptive words or elements.
In the present cases, the element NUTRI has been considered as constituting a clear reference to NUTRITION, and the element LITE as referring to LIGHT. The earlier trademarks being protected for food supplements, the Benelux Court of Justice has therefore limited the scope of protection for said trademarks, and considered that the conceptual differences between the signs NUTRILIFE and NUTRILITE are cancelling the visual and phonetical similarities between said signs.