Our client, Solen Cikolata Gida Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi, a Turkish Company, filed the trademark application VIP and chocolate bar device with red color, as above, for registration under No. 102090 dated 21 December 2005 in Class 30 in respect of chocolates, products covered with chocolate and candy, chocolate bars, wafers, cakes, biscuits and confectioneries.
The above application was published on 28 July 2006 and open for opposition within 3 months.
Mars, Inc. opposed the above application based on confusing similarity with its well-known trademark MARS, and claiming that since both marks are in the same font and using the red color this will give the impression to the public of a connection between them.
After several hearings and a full trial, the Bureau of Grievance (Supreme Court) found that the red color falls in the public domain. The general appearance of both is different and accordingly, the likelihood of confusion to the consumer did not exist.
The plaintiff was not satisfied with the Judgment and requested a Special Court to review the decision, which in its turn confirmed the judgment of the Bureau of Grievance.