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On February 07 «A.Zalesov & Partners» Patent & Law Firm convinced the board of Chamber for Patent Disputes of Rospatent, that the «GUARDS POLO CLUB» trademark is not confusingly similar to the trademarks of other polo clubs. The «GUARDS POLO CLUB» was founded on January 25, 1955, its President since its foundation is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, while Queen Elizabeth II is its patron. International registration №1396583 is a star-shaped heraldic sign with a circle with a crown inside it, and the words «GUARDS POLO CLUB» are placed in the circle. The trademark is filed for goods of class 18 and 25 (leather goods and clothing), therefore the words «Polo Club» are not disclaimed, since they are not descriptive for these goods, although, of course they indicate to connection of such goods with polo clubs. During the examination of the international registration, Rospatent considered that this trademark is confusingly similar to other signs belonging to two other, not related to each other trademark owners: «Royal County of Berkshire POLO CLUB» (RU 661401) and «BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB» (RU 380414). In both trademarks the elements «POLO CLUB» are also not excluded from protection, while both signs include an image of a rider with a polo stick. Despite the fact that Rospatent's approach to identifying strong and weak elements in the sign is gradually changing, and less and less often experts believe that the verbal element in the combined mark is always strong, in this case the expert considered this to be the case. Arguments that the only similarity between the mark of our principal and other marks is the «POLO CLUB» element, which is weak because it indicates the relationship of the goods to polo clubs, while the strong one is, of course, the figurative element, convinced the Chamber for Patent Disputes at the stage of appealing the final refusal. The Board announced the operative part of the decision to cancel the final refusal and decided that Rospatent should grant legal protection to the sign of His Highness's club. The «GUARDS POLO CLUB»'s interests were defended by Irina Ozolina, Senior Partner, and Anastasia Kiriukhina, Head of the Trademark Group of «A.Zalesov & Partners» Patent & Law Firm.

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