The applicant filed the word mark “Jüllich Technology” in respect of the following goods: in class 07 material handling machines; plastic and rubber processing machines, etc., in class 09. solar panels for the production of electricity and related apparatus, in class 11. solar thermal collectors ( heating) and related apparatus of operation, etc.
The opponent was proprietor of the earlier mark:
This earlier mark was registered i.a. in classes 9 for solar panels, solar panels for production of electric energy, etc. and in class 11 for solar collectors ( heating) and associated equipment in this class.
The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) refused the application. It held that dominant element of both marks is the term JÜLLICH, and the JGS logo in the opponent’s mark does not exclude likelihood of confusion, moreover the goods in classes 9 and 11 are identical in the two marks, and the goods in class 7 are similar. As a result the public may associate the two marks and believe that there is a tie between the two companies.
The applicant requested review with the Metropolitan Tribunal but this was only in a minor part successful, namely in respect of class 7 and rejected in respect of the classes 9 and 11. Relating to the rejected part the Tribunal held that JÜLLICH is so dominant in the applied mark that confusion cannot be excluded, even if the applicant deletes the solar products from the list of goods of this mark . Moreover the fact that applicant’s family name is also JÜLLICH, does not grant to him the right to register his own name that was registered earlier by a third person.
In respect of the goods in class 7 the tribunal found no similarity with solar element and for those it allowed the registration.
The applicant filed an appeal with the Metropolitan Court of Appeal, but this was rejected. The Court held that the Tribunal’s opinion was well founded. /8. Pkf. 25.715/2018
JÜLLICH is a name of German origin, so in my opinion it has a strong distinctive character for the Hungarian consumer.
Use of German family names as marks is not new for the Hungarian public, names as GANZ for mechanical instrument, HERZ for salami, RICHTER for pharmaceuticals have been not only reputed but also well-known for a long time.
The JÜLLICH name and mark does not belong to the category of reputed mark whenever it was manifested as the above mentioned three marks. I believe that the above procedure was more the result of a family dispute, so much so that the applicant and the opponent are brothers who worked peacefully together until 2015, when the crash occurred.
Dr. Sándor Vida LLD.
Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences