When getting dressed in the morning we all think about how we want to present ourselves. We consider whether our clothes and shoes (and in this weather, a hat) go together to create our 'look'. But what other goods contribute to our look? Perhaps your sunglasses, the watch you are wearing, the umbrella that is swiftly turning itself inside out?

These goods may all be worn together, however in a recent decision the General Court (GC) held that watches are dissimilar to clothing, footwear and headgear. While goods such as watches in Class 14 are for 'personal adornment', Class 25 goods of clothing, footwear and headgear are intended to 'dress the human body'. These two descriptions do not seem, on the face of it, to be poles apart. However, the GC state in their decision that the goods are different in nature and intended purpose. Further, at Paragraph 25 of the decision they provide that "it has already been held that jewellery and watches, even precious stones, on the one hand, and items of clothing, on the other, could not be regarded as similar (see, to that effect, judgments of 24 March 2010, 2nine v OHIM – Pacific Sunwear of California (nollie), T-364/08, not published, EU:T:2010:115, paragraph 33 and the case-law cited, and of 10 October 2018, Cuervo y Sobrinos 1882 v EUIPO – A. Salgado Nespereira (Cuervo y Sobrinos LA HABANA 1882), T-374/17, not published, EU:T:2018:669, paragraph 35 and the case-law cited)".

These decisions are interesting as they challenge the assumption that just because jewellery and watches are regularly worn and sold alongside clothing goods, they would be considered similar goods in opposition proceedings.

Further comments on this decision can be found in this IPKat article. Reflecting on "the well-known practice in the fashion industry to market clothing and then include a wide range of accessories (or vice versa)" the author concludes wondering if "this practice is still not fully considered by courts, possibly unduly so (in the past see decisions T-44/17 and T-505/12).

Goods in class 14 have to be intended as being used for personal adornment , while products in class 25 are simply intended to dress the human body.


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