The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has dismissed a trademark opposition made by Adidas against a Taiwan-based competitor’s application.
The IPOS ruled on Friday, July 20, that the marks were too dissimilar for there to be a likelihood of confusion.
In 2015, Lutong Enterprise applied to register a trademark in Singapore for goods including clothing, footwear and headgear.
The figurative mark is made up of an inverted triangle consisting of three lines and a circle in the top left corner. According to the IPOS, the mark conveys the idea of a person in a crouching position ready to jump. The circle depicts the head, and the downward pointing triangular aspect represents the human body.
In 2016, Adidas opposed the applied-for mark based on its earlier registration (number T9,907,870B), which was registered in Singapore in 1999 for goods including clothing, footwear and headgear.
The earlier mark is depicted by three upward sloping stripes that, according to the IPOS, conveys the idea of a mountain. This indicates “the challenge to be faced and the goals achieved,” said the office.
Adidas alleged that there exists a likelihood of confusion between the marks due to visual similarities.
According to Adidas, brands inverting their logos is a current fashion trend which could cause confusion among the relevant public.
However, the IPOS decided otherwise and said that the orientation of the marks demonstrates a “significant variance”.
In addition, the office said that the circle in the applied-for mark adds another dimension and makes it even more different to the earlier mark.
“As such, the proposition that marks with opposing orientation are nonetheless considered similar does not hold true here,” said See Tho Sok Yee, principal assistant registrar for the IPOS.
Adidas also tried to oppose the applied-for mark on the grounds of bad faith because Lutong allegedly copied the earlier registration. However, the IPOS highlighted that Lutong’s mark was actually commissioned and designed between 1981 and 1982, before Adidas’s mark was designed in 1990.
The IPOS also rejected the Adidas claim that Lutong had copied its shoe designs.
As such, the opposition was dismissed and the application will proceed to registration. Lutong is entitled to costs.