Fashion group fails to block Mango Seed trademark

Spanish fashion retailer Mango has failed to block Korean skincare brand The Face Shop from registering a trademark in Singapore for its Mango Seed range.

Consolidated Artists, the trademark owner of Mango, objected to The Face Shop bid on the basis of its earlier trademarks for Mango and Mango Adorably, under which it produces goods such as soap, perfumes and cosmetics.

However, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) registrar has ruled that the trademarks look and sound different, and are “more dissimilar than similar in totality”.

While the Mango trademark had “some level of distinctiveness” in terms of its font, it was nevertheless “not highly distinctive” as it could otherwise be considered descriptive of the products in that they could be mango-flavoured or scented.

The registrar said the same considerations applied to the Mango Seed trademark of The Face Shop, as the retailer was legally defined in the application. The registrar noted the Korean brand’s trademark included the “particularly long word The Face Shop”, which was “allusive and can be regarded as distinctive of the relevant goods”.

Regarding the likelihood of confusion, the registrar ruled there was no risk of misperception of co-branding or any likelihood of confusion in the sense of an economic link between the parties.

While Mango had consistently used its trademark in a particular font, it could not be confused with the Mango Seed trademark, even though the word “seed” was related to the word “mango”.

IPOS also said that cosmetics and self-care products were “highly personal” and consumers would be more particular about the origin or trademarks of such goods, and trust some brands more than others.

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