“Facelook” vs. “ Facebook”
The National Patent and Trademark Office (SIC) has denied registration of the sign ‘Facelook’ based on a high risk of confusion with “Facebook.”
Trademark application for “Facelook” was requested by a company called Varbook to distinguish lotions, essential oils, perfumes, deodorants, cosmetics and toiletries.
Although no objections were filed by third parties, the local PTO analysis of the trademark application found that the worldwide famous trademark “Facebook” was registered in 9, 35, 36, 41, 42 and 45 classes of the International Classification of Nice. Furthermore, SIC ruled that “Facelook” has a similar grammatical structure to “Facebook” and in that sense there is a high possibility of confusion for the consumers between the opposing trademarks.
SIC specialists consider that “although the products and services that recognize both brands are in different classes they are related and complementary (…) this may include products that distinguishes the sign applied.” The decision also takes into account that one of the classes in which “Facebook” is registered is class int 35, which contains marketing services, advertising, and promotion among others.
Once the ruling was announced, the applicant, Varbook, filed an appeal on the grounds that there is not a “competitive” connection between the products and services, and further believes that they target different consumers. In spite of these objections, SIC confirmed the decision at first instance.