The IPKat is not just a commentator on IP-related matters; he also owns a little patch of intangible estate. This is his Community trade mark registration E8150286 for the word IPKAT, with a filing date of 11 March 2009 and a publication date of 25 May 2009. As a goodwill gesture to the entente cordiale, he opted for French as the mark's second language and the mark is registered for, among other things, "Education services; training services; arranging and conducting conferences, seminars, symposiums" in Class 41.
OHIM has now notified the IPKat that his precious mark has been revealed as a possible obstacle following the Office's search in relation to this application to register the word mark IPAT. This application has been made by a Dutch company, AT Osborne BV, and it covers, among other things, "Education; provision of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities", also in Class 41. This application has a filing date of 4 April 2009 and was published on 9 November 2009.
At this point the IPKat has to decide: should he (a) oppose the application by AT Osborne BV on the ground that, given the similarity of the marks and the identity/similarity of the services, there is a likelihood of confusion among relevant consumers, (b) seek an assurance or undertaking from AT Osborne BV that it will limit its specification to reflect the services it actually provides or to exclude the services provided in the field of law, business, finance, media, telecommunications, information technology, intellectual property, property, management, banking, security and tax -- these being areas specified in the IPKat's registration; (c) do nothing because, while the marks are only one letter different and have some visual and possible aural similarity, the meaning of "IPKAT" as an "Intellectual Property Cat" results in there being so strong a conceptual contrast that the marks are insufficiently similar to be confused; (d) do nothing on the basis that there's no realistic likelihood of confusion; (e) adopt some other strategy?
At the top of the side bar of this weblog there's a poll. Do please let the IPKat know what you think he should do. He's ever so curious to see if there's a consensus. Merpel moans, why didn't you register me too? Aren't I worth anything?