4EVER: use of text message language in trademarks - similar trademarks

Language continually develops. Due to the rise in social media symbols and numbers have gotten a new meaning. Abbreviations such as 4U (for you), 2day (today), and CU (see you) have become commonplace. Because these symbol can also be used in trademarks, this can lead to problems.

In 1994 the Portuguese trademark 4EVER was registered for fruit juices in class 32. The trademark holder objects the application by a third party for FOREVER, applied for fruit juices mixed with aloe, a few years later. Plaintiff claims that the trademarks are similar. The court agrees with this. The most important parts of the trademarks are the words. By used of text message language on internetfora, e-mail, blogs and online games, the number 4 is read and understood as FOR. Knowledge of English varies per country, but a large portion of consumers in Portugal is familiar with it. Because of this the trademarks are aurally and conceptually similar. Since the products are nearly identical, FOREVER will not be registered.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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