Apple has succeeded in preventing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi rom registering its “Mi Pad” tablet computer as an EU trademark because the name was deemed too similar to Apple’s “iPad”.
The European Union’s second-highest court, the General Court, ruled on Tuesday that Mi Pad should not be registered as a trademark because consumers are likely to be confused by the similarity of the signs, Reuters reports.
“The dissimilarity between the signs at issue, resulting from the presence of the additional letter ‘m’ at the beginning of “Mi Pad”, is not sufficient to offset the high degree of visual and phonetic similarity between the two signs,” the court was quoted as saying.
Xiaomi filed an application in 2014 with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to register Mi Pad as an EU trademark.
Apple subsequently lodged a complaint that the EUIPO upheld in 2016 on the grounds that consumers would think Mi Pad was a variation on Apple’s iPad trademark.
The court agreed with the EUIPO’s decision and said English-speaking consumers were likely to understand the prefix “mi” as meaning “my” and therefore pronounce the “i” of Mi Pad and iPad in the same way.
Xiaomi can appeal against the ruling at the EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union.
– Contact us at [email protected]