Asking for trouble?

01 March 2023

Sometimes it seems as if a trademark application is simply asking for trouble. For example, an Italian company recently filed a trademark application for MEGA, a brand whose products include furniture. Even if you have never set foot in an IKEA store, you can’t help noticing that MEGA's yellow/blue logo looks incredibly similar to the IKEA logo. Was the trademark owner really unaware of this? Or was this a deliberate attempt to profit from the similarity to IKEA?

It was no surprise when IKEA filed an opposition based on the risk of confusion and profiting from/dilution of a well-known trademark. Since words are generally the dominant element of a trademark, you could argue that these trademarks are not similar as the words IKEA and MEGA do not resemble each other. This argument, however, could be refuted by pointing out that graphic representation is a major element in both of these trademarks. As the graphic elements are practically identical, there is a similarity. At any rate, consumers could very well see a connection between the two trademarks.

But even if the European Trademarks Office does not agree with this line of reasoning, all is not lost for the Swedish giant, as it has also claimed the logo without the word IKEA.

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