Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Chamagne (CIVC) and Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualite (INAO) who under French law are charged with controlling, promoting and protecting the common law certification mark CHAMPAGNE, opposed the registration of the mark CHAMPARTY for "alcoholic beverages except beers." CIVC/INAO argued that the marks
are confusingly similar. CHAMPAGNE
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Board) found the parties goods to be identical. While normally this factor alone would weigh heavily in favor of finding a likelihood of confusion, the Board found the marks CHAMPARTY and
The Board stated that "customers of average perceptual abilities would not
mistake one mark for the other or find the marks to be significantly similar"
even if used on identical goods. CHAMPAGNE
CIVC/INAO argued that
CHAMPAGNE is often associated with celebrations
and thus PARTY might suggest a connection with especially given that the initial
letters are identical in both marks. The Board was not persuaded as CHAMPAGNE is a term well
known as a type of sparking wine, but CHAMPARTY has no literal meaning. In
fact, the Board noted that the English word "party" is a prominent feature of
the CHAMPARTY mark and that the PARTY portion of the mark is "likely to
counteract the visual similarities between the two marks in the perception of
the consumers." Unfortunately for CIVC/INAO, there was no evidence of record
is more closely connected with celebrations than that of any other alcoholic
beverage. Similarly, the Board saw no support for the argument that consumers
would view CHAMPARTY as a kind of "brand extension" of the CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE mark nor did not discern any other rationale why
consumers might perceive a relationship or connection between the
The Board concluded that the mark CHAMPARTY differs substantially from the mark
, "so as not to
be likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception as to the source of
applicant's goods." Alas, CIVC/INAO has the CHAMPAGNE , but nothing to celebrate.
Comité Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne and Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité v. Shlomo David Jehonadav, Opposition No. 91195709 (March 8, 2013) [not precedential].
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