On December 15th, 2005, the European Court of First Instance ruled that these two trademarks were not similar to designate cleaning products in class 3 because of :
– The letter A in the middle of the word CLEAN – The letter X at the end of the world CLEAN
– The representation of a drop of water between the word CLEAN and the letter X The letter X has not been considered as bearing a decorative function but had a clear impact in the distinctive character of the Community Application CLEAN X since (i) it was not regarded as useful in Spanish (territory of the earlier mark opposed) and (ii) it had the same size and typography as the word part
(Community trademark application) VS./ (Earlier trademark opposed)
This decision is surprising taking into account the usual weak distinctive character of a single letter and considering that in the present case, such letter is placed at the end of the trademark whereas the consumer attention is generally focus on the beginning of the trademark.