I.Protect: Pycnogenol vs. PCO-genols-A A +A
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Clint Fabiosa & Ana Liza Villamor
ARE the trademarks PYCNOGENOL and PCO-GENOLS, both used for food supplements, confusingly-similar? In the case of Prosource vs. Horphag, GR No. 180073, Nov. 25, 2009, Horphag (the owner of PYCOGENOL) sued Prosource (the owner of PCO-GENOLS) for trademark infringement. The Supreme Court ruled that there was confusing similarity and affirmed the finding that both the words PYCNOGENOL and PCO-GENOLS have the same suffix “GENOL” which on evidence, appears to be merely descriptive and furnish no indication of the origin of the article. Although the letters “Y” between P and C, “N” between O and C and “S” after L are missing in Prosource’s mark PCO-GENOLS, nevertheless, when the two words are pronounced, the sound effects are confusingly similar not to mention that they are both described by their manufacturers as a food supplement and thus, identified as such by their public consumers. And although there were dissimilarities in the trademarks due to the type of letters used as well as the size, color, and design employed on their individual packages/bottles, still the close relationship of the competing products’ name in sounds as they were pronounced, clearly indicates that purchasers could be misled into believing that they are the same and/or originates from a common source and manufacturer.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 04, 2012.