CASELAW

Caselaw

Court of Justice of the European Communities, C-39/97

On a proper construction of Article 4(1)(b) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC of 21 December 1988 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks, the distinctive character of the earlier trade mark, and in particular its reputation, must be taken into account when determining whether the similarity between the goods or services covered by the two trade marks is sufficient to give rise to the likelihood of confusion.
There may be a likelihood of confusion within the meaning of Article 4(1)(b) of Directive 89/104 even where the public perception is that the goods or services have different places of production. By contrast, there can be no such likelihood where it does not appear that the public could believe that the goods or services come from the same undertaking or, as the case may be, from economically-linked undertakings.

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