In case T-216/10, the Applicant Monster Cable Products, Inc., filed an application for registering MONSTER ROCK which was opposed successfully by Live Nation UK Ltd on the grounds of Article 8 (1) (b) and (4) CTMR on the basis of earlier word mark MONSTERS OF ROCK registered in the UK.
The goods in question in the present case are the electronic apparatus and accessories necessary for the transmission of sound in Class 9 of the Nice Agreement. The Board of Appeal correctly found that some of the goods such as’ loudspeakers, stereo amplifiers, audio equipment, and accessories’ were identical to ‘apparatus for the recording, transmission or reproduction of sound and images’ and some goods were similar such as ‘ cables, wires, connectors and control devices and apparatus for the recording, transmission or reproduction of sound and images’.
As for the signs, they have clearly a strong visual and aural similarity as well as conceptually speaking. It should be noted that certain words or expressions may have multiple meanings: the word ‘monster’ may, as the applicant rightly submitted, refer both to a frightening creature and to a certain concept of excellence so that the expression MONSTERS OF ROCK might refer to the great stars of that type of music.
Therefore, even if the earlier mark were of weak distinctive character, that fact would not be such as to rule out any likelihood of confusion between the marks concerned.