Total SA has won a three-year case in the Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA) of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines barring a local company to register a similar trademark and logo.
A BLA ruled that there’s room for confusion between Pilipinas Total Gas, Inc. and Device and the French oil giant, noting that both are engaged in the same business covering chemicals used in industry, science and agriculture.
The bureau said that the attempt of Pilipinas Total Gas “to add embellishments or ornaments on its word mark is not sufficient to distinguish its mark from that of the opposer,” referring to Total.
“It has been consistently held in our jurisdiction that the law does not require that the competing trademarks must be so identical as to produce actual error or mistake… Because [Pilipinas Total] will use his mark on goods that are similar and/or closely related to [Total SA’s], the consumer is likely to assume that [Pilipinas Total’s] goods originate from or sponsored by [Total SA]…,” it added.
According the Intellectual Property Code, “a mark cannot be registered if it is identical with a registered mark belonging to a different proprietor or a mark with an earlier filing or priority date with respect to the same goods or services or closely related goods or service, or if it is nearly resembles such a mark as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion.”
Total SA brought the case to the BLA’s attention back in August 2011. A copy of the ruling can be read here.