Ramkumar submitted no testimony or evidence. Nokia submitted evidence of staggering sales figures and widespread notoriety. The Board found, and applicant did not contest, that the mark NOKIA is famous for Section 2(d) purposes. As we know, fame, when found, plays a dominant role in the du Pont analysis.
Because the marks at issue end in the same four letters, “they will most likely rhyme when spoken and in any event will sound quite similar. It is even possible that one of these marks might be taken for the other when encountered aurally if a listener does not hear the first part of one of the marks well or in its entirety.” The marks also look similar because of the same last four letters. Neither mark has any meaning or connotation.
The Board concluded that the first du Pont factor favored Nokia.
Nokia argued Ramkumar’s actions “strongly suggest” bad faith. The Board observed that it need not decide that issue in order to sustain the opposition. [What does applicant’s intent have to do with consumer perception of the marks? – ed.]. The Board also declined to reach Nokia’s dilution claim.
And so the Board sustained the opposition.
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Text Copyright John L. Welch 2020