GUESS is an American clothing and retailing brand. Other than clothing GUESS markets various fashion accessories such as bags, watches, perfumes, shoes etc.
Recently the American clothing brand noticed that a clothing brand by the name ‘Hater’ had applied to register their Trademark which is enclosed in a triangle and is selling products online through www.hatersnapback.com and offline through stores.
GUESS is a well-known brand; they already have a registered logo depicting GUESS (in text) enclosed in a Triangle.
When the American brand came to know about the resemblance of Hater’s applied for mark with their mark they tried to halt the registration.
The Hater’s applied for logo is also enclosed in a triangle and the ‘Hater’ is also into clothing. Hater had applied to register their mark in Singapore. GUESS opposed the same stating that the applied for mark will confuse their consumer and will lead to misrepresentation.
The mark ‘Hater’ was applied by Jen Chi in class 25 which covers clothing. GUESS believed that Chi had intentionally applied for such a mark to indicate a connection between the brands.
As per the Singapore law, either of the elements should be present to object a mark “the whole or essential part of the trademark must be identical or similar to an earlier mark”.
However Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) rejected GUESS’s argument that applied for mark is too similar to GUESS’s registered mark and it will cause confusion.
The Principal Assistant Registrar at IPOS, Sanjay Widjaja stated that the applied for mark ‘Hater’ was “visually, aurally and conceptually more dissimilar than similar” to GUESS’s mark which featured the word ‘GUESS’.
Further, Widjaja stated that “Taking into account the extent of dissimilarity in the marks, I am of the view that, on a balance of probabilities, there is no likelihood of misrepresentation that the applicant and the opponent are one and the same or that they are economically linked,”
IPOS decided that the registration for the mark ‘Hater’ shall continue and Chi is entitled to costs from GUESS.