La domenica italiana è stata allietata dall'unico Grillo Nazionale che non divide, Bi-Weltmeister a Stoccarda. Intanto sono trascorsi tre giorni dalla Pronuncia del Tribunale di Prima Istanza (T-418/03) sul caso "La Mer". Aveva ragione l'Avvocato Angelini. Lui lo aveva detto immediatamente, già mercoledì, ventiquattrore prima del Giudizio. La decennale contesa su "La Mer" non ha ancora visto il suo epilogo, probabilmente. Eppure tutti da Jeremy Phillips in giù si concentrano sugli aspetti concernenti l'uso del marchio. E tanto scalpore è stato destato dal fatto che gli esaminatori UAMI avessero portato attenzione solo sulla registrazione nazionale francese. Il caso lo conoscete tutti. Eppure i paragrafi 94- 96, come suggerisce il buon Angelini sono il core della sentenza. E' l'aspetto percettivo quello che appare più interessante. Sbaglierò ma è un'altra pronuncia che conferma le idee del Professor Sandri. Leggete e percepirete...
94 Secondly, with regard to the comparison of the trade marks, the applicant submits that ‘la mer’ is not the dominant and distinctive element of the LABORATOIRE DE LA MER mark. It is commonly understood that in principle a complex word mark is distinguished by its beginning, which dominates the imperfect recollection of the consumer, particularly in the mass consumer products market. It is contradictory for the intervener to argue, on the one hand, that the word ‘laboratoire’ merely describes the place of production and, on the other, that ‘la mer’ is used and understood as a trade mark. The intervener uses the whole phrase as a description of its area of specialisation, namely marine products. According to the applicant, the intervener sometimes uses ‘goëmar le laboratoire de la mer’ in a descriptive text and sometimes in conjunction with its address and that is understood as a reference to the intervener’s field of business.
95 According to the applicant, there is no reason to deviate from the general rule that a consumer usually perceives a mark as a whole and does not proceed to analyse the different elements that constitute it. That is certainly the case with regard to the LABORATOIRE DE LA MER sign, where ‘laboratoire’ carries the conceptual weight and stands out both visually (length and position within the mark) and phonetically (length and being placed at the beginning). Consequently, ‘de la mer’ is understood as a particular specification of ‘laboratoire’ and not by itself as the distinctive and dominant element. In addition, the applicant cites examples of cosmetics which make very numerous references to the sea.
96 The descriptive nature of the LA MER mark is even more apparent in the context of thalassotherapy, based on the soothing effect of the sea to which the ‘Le thalasso bain’ product range alludes. In that connection, the applicant stresses that OHIM wrongly refused to register the BAUME DE LA MER sign on the ground that it was descriptive, which is totally inconsistent with the acceptance of the CREME DE LA MER, ÉMULSION DE LA MER and BRUME DE LA MER trade marks. According to the applicant, the phrase ‘de la mer’ is allusive, particularly when combined with the word ‘laboratoire’. Accordingly, there is no justification for shortening the earlier LABORATOIRE DE LA MER mark, which is registered for cosmetics of a marine products base, and reducing it to LA MER. The LA MER trade mark, on the contrary, is not perceived as describing the nature of the products and does not relate at all to products coming from the sea. The applicant concludes that the earlier mark and the LA MER sign are not visually, phonetically or conceptually similar. Visually and phonetically, the fact that ‘laboratoire de’ marks the beginning of the complex earlier mark and is also longer than ‘la mer’ is decisive. Conceptually, the LABORATOIRE DE LA MER sign means that Goëmar, the laboratory, is situated by the sea. The words ‘la mer’ mean nothing specific in relation to cosmetics and allude only to the fact that the products have some relationship with the sea.