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Intellectual Property Insights: A tale of two (m)banks: General Court confirms that visual aspect is more important than phonetic aspect for financial services

September 2023

As part of the WTR series EUROPEAN UNION | Legal updates: case law analysis and intelligence, Ana-Maria Baciu, Managing Partner and Lia Popescu, Intellectual Property Intern, recently co-authored a piece titled “A tale of two (m)banks: General Court confirms that visual aspect is more important than phonetic aspect for financial services“.

The thesis:

  • The EUIPO rejected an application for a declaration of invalidity of the mark EMBANK based on the earlier marks MBANK
  • The court confirmed, holding that the shared component ‘bank’ had a weak distinctive character and that the letter ‘m’ had little influence on the likelihood of confusion assessment
  • In the case of marks designating banks, the visual representation is “more important than the phonetic aspect” in the eyes of the highly attentive consumer

To download the full article, please click HERE.

This article first appeared on WTR Daily, part of World Trademark Review, in July 2023. For further information, please go to www.worldtrademarkreview.com


To raise awareness on intellectual property aspects and to help companies understand the relevant concepts, risks and benefit connected to such, SIMION & BACIU constantly contributes expert views to reputable publications, such as WTR Daily.

SIMION & BACIU is a 3-time winner of the much-coveted Romanian Law Firm of the Year award by Managing IP in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Also, the firm is the winner of the prestigious Trademark Firm of the Year for Romania distinction at the 2022 Global IP Awards Gala presented by IAM 100 and World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000.


We would note that this is the kind of opportunity students who decide to join SIMION & BACIU’s internship initiatives may encounter: publishing an article together with an award-winning professional and a Managing Partner of the firm. As we believe that this is also the type of experience an internship should offer. To learn more about our interactions with the students from Faculties of Law, please contact Cosmina Maria Simion, Ana-Maria Baciu or the currently dedicated team for these activities: Ileana Nicolescu, Petruș Partene and Anca Ștefanescu-Toma.

SIMION & BACIU is an Executive Partner of ELSA Bucharest.

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