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Intel fails to erase trade mark of Intelmark

A degree of dissimilarity

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Intel Corporation has failed in a bid to cancel the registered trade mark INTELMARK, owned by global marketing firm CPM.

CPM, which has 4,000 staff across 10 countries, registered the mark in 1997 for "Marketing and telemarketing services." In 2003, California's chip giant applied for a declaration of invalidity against the mark. Its claim was rejected and Intel appealed.

Intel said the disputed mark "would take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or the repute" of its own rights. It pointed out that its INTEL marks are "some of the most highly recognised marks in the world" and enjoy "a very considerable reputation in the UK".

CPM argued that its use of INTELMARK was not in any way damaging "to the distinctiveness or repute of the INTEL brand".

Justice Patten agreed with CPM. He acknowledged Intel's brand strength – referring to a branding chart from 1993 which placed Intel third among the world's most successful brand names, behind Coca-Cola and Marlboro. (In fact, a more recent chart, from branding experts Superbrands, placed Intel only 126th in the UK last year.)

Justice Patten concluded: "the reputation enjoyed by the INTEL mark would be sufficient for the average consumer to focus on INTEL in INTELMARK" but "the addition of MARK in a single word does create a degree of dissimilarity".

Intel's appeal was dismissed.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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