Trade mark loss for the Capital Group
One of the world’s biggest financial services companies has failed to prevent one of their competitors from registering a trade mark. In 2017, CAMcap wanted to register the word ‘CAMcap’ in bold in a blue font, on a black background and followed by a red stop sign with the UK Intellectual Property Office (‘UKIPO’). The Capital Group immediately opposed the filing upon notification by the UKIPO, as it felt that the mark was confusingly similar to two of their registered marks (‘AMCAP’).
Even though both companies had registered their marks for financial services, the UKIPO found that there was a low level of visual similarity between the two marks. This view was based on the review of the letters ‘CAM’ and ‘cap’ in the applied-for-mark. The UKIPO held that this was likely to be perceived as two separate words unlike that of the Capital Group’s mark.
However, the UKIPO did concede that the stylisation of CAMcap’s mark obscured the letter ‘C’but it felt that this was insignificant, as most people would not miss the letter ‘C’ out of the applied-for-mark. In addition, the UKIPO reasoned that the fact that CAMcap’s mark started with the consonant ‘C’, meant that the applied-for-mark sounded very dissimilar to the Capital Group’s mark (it starts with the vowel ‘A’).
By Fatima Amedu