Milka and Milko Are Confusing

The CFI has upheld an OHIM Board of Appeal decision that there was a likelihood of confusion between a figurative sign incorporating the word “milko” and the Greek word for “delta” applied for in respect of milk with cocoa, and Kraft Foods’ earlier mark including the word “milka”, registered for milk, cocoa and chocolate products, among other goods.

The rationale of the court is that the applicant’s mark was dominated by the word “milko” which closely resembles the word “milka” element in the opponent’s mark. It was held that consumers unfamiliar with the Greek alphabet would not understand the element comprising the Greek word for “delta”, and the milkmaid design in the applicant’s mark would be seen as ornamental. The court found that the likelihood of confusion between the marks was greater due to the well known nature of Kraft’s mark. Milk is, of course, fairly generic in association with chocolate, and the cow, milk maid is not that distinctive either. The ruling brings to mind the Israel ruling in Elite vs Milka.

Case: Vivartia Case T-204/06, ABEE Proïonton Diatrofis kai Ypiresion Estiasis v OHIM, 10 June 2009.

See also: Elite and Milka’s Cows Lock Horns



Categories: famous marks, trademarks

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