December 2017. Despite the fact that Xuebo Ye’s new trademark shows some similarities to the familiar ‘O’ of US chain retailer Oakley, the applicant has still been given a European registration after the EUIPO Board of Appeal concluded that the two trademarks were not similar.
Oakley has registered its distinctive ‘O’ as a trademark, but Mr Ye’s logo is not confusingly similar
No risk of confusion
According to the Board of Appeal, the distinctive element in the trademark on the left is the ‘O’, whereas the trademark on the right features two distinctive ‘C’s’. Moreover, the image at the centre of the Oakley logo is a rounded ellipse, whereas Mr Ye’s trademark incorporates a cross. Conclusion: no risk of confusion, no infringement and therefore a go-ahead for the new registration.
Regrettably, the Board of Appeal can’t take other factors into account, such as previous registrations filed by Xuebo Ye. If it could, it might have noted that Mr Ye appears to be making a habit of getting dangerously close to established trademarks. Below are two examples of other trademarks he’s gained European registrations for.
Two other European trademarks previously registered by Xuebo Ye: DC and a Ferrari-like logo