What was the result of the dispute between Furla and Furna in Japan?

What was the result of the dispute between Furla and Furna in Japan?

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Masaki Mikami reports about another interesting trademark dispute in Japan which concerns an application for the following trademark in class 25 – clothes and related goods:

Against this application, an opposition was filed by the Italian fashion company FURLA S.P.A. on the ground of an earlier mark for FURLA in class 25.

The company claimed that the difference between L and N was not enough to overcome the similarity and the possible consumer confusion, especially in light of the established reputation of the Furla brand amongst Japanese consumers and the identity of the goods.

The Japan Patent Office, however, disagreed finding both marks as not similar. Visually the difference between the L and N letters and the stylization of the later mark was enough to overcome confusion. Phonetically these two letters created different impressions. Conceptually the mark applied for had no meaning while the earlier one was related to Furla’s brand and its founder Aldo Furlanetto.

While accepting Furla’s reputation as proven, the Office dismissed the opposition based on the lack of similarity between the signs.

Strangely enough but the word FURNA has meaning in some languages such as Bulgarian for example, where it means oven 🙂

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