SINGAPORE: THAT IS ONE ANGRY BIRD

October 24th, 2014

 

A recent case decided by Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS) in relation to dispute concerning a registered trade mark application filed by Kimanis Food Industries Sdn. Bhd. and opposition by Rovio Entertainment.

Kimanis Food Industries Sdn. Bhd. (hereinafter referred to as “the Applicant”) applied to register a trade mark  in Class 30 (hereinafter referred to as “the Applicant’s Mark”).

angrybird2

Rovio Entertainment Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “the Opponent”) had filed a Notice of Opposition to oppose the application on the grounds of the Applicant’s Mark is similar to the Opponent’s Singapore Trade Marks for the mark “ANGRY BIRD”(Singapore Trade Mark No. T1113897F) and for the mark angrybird (Singapore Trade Mark No. T1111886Z) (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the Opponent’s Earlier Marks”).

The Opponent had relied upon Sections 8(2)(b) and 8(4) of the Singapore Trade Mark Act and alleged that there may be confusion between the Opponent’s Earlier Marks and Applicant’s Mark.

During the hearing, IPOS held objections on the grounds under Sections 8(2)(b) and 8(4) cannot be sustained as it found that there is no confusion of similarity between the Application Mark and the Opponent’s Earlier Marks.

Besides that, the IPOS of a view that there is no visual similarity between the Applicant’s Mark and the Opponent’s Earlier Marks. Based on detailed visual inspection of the Applicant’s Mark, the IPOS had noted that there is only an “angry eyes device mark” and there is no similarity with the Opponent’s Singapore Trade Mark No. T1113897F which is a word mark.

Also, the IPOS had pointed out that the Opponent’s Singapore Trade Mark No. T1111886Z which consists of a device of a bird with angry eyes which may be only the dominant component. The Applicant’ Mark is a mark consists of an angry face, biting angrily into something and words “ANGRY BITE” and the words “D-Jack” in the Applicant’s Mark.

Not surprisingly, the IPOS had also held that the Applicant’s Mark is read as "AN-GRY BITE" meanwhile the Opponent’s Earlier Mark reads as "AN-GRY BIRD”. The IPOS found that there may be some aural similarities between the Applicant’s Mark and Opponent’s Earlier Marks.

In relations to similarities of goods, even though the goods claimed by parties which are common are snack foods that can be purchased as self-serve items that can be done directly by the purchaser and it does not involve sales assistants to distribute the items. Further, the public gets to view the products before purchasing them. Therefore, the IPOS held that there is no misrepresentation on the goods and no “likelihood of confusion” under Section 8(2)(b).

As a final conclusion, IPOS held that the opposition filed by the Opponent had failed and held that the Applicant’s Mark can proceed to registration.