The dispute started on 1996 when Burger King applied for registration of the mark in Class 29 Nice Classification. The application was opposed by a third party, Kokorico Ltd based on its earlier mark ‘King Line’ registered in Class 42 Nice Classification. SIC Directorate upheld the opposition and this was reconsidered and confirmed again on June 2004 (Resolution No. 12522).
|My favourite King..|
I guess then that the mark was not allowed to be registered in two grounds: (1) relative grounds: likelihood of confusion with third party trade mark and (2) absolute grounds: lack of distinctiveness. However, regarding absolute grounds, surely the mark has acquired distinctiveness through use (secondary meaning) which is a straightforward case proven by evidence. The one that I cannot come to terms is the mark being confused by the earlier mark. I cannot see how the sign ‘King de Pollo’ and ‘King Line’ can be confused – even if we do a salami slice test! The second word does not mean the same (they are even different languages), and they are not written nor pronounced in the same way.
Source: newspaper La República.