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概論美國商標案例有關判斷混淆之虞之因素—以第6項「du Pont factors」為中心 (張倍境 商標部) (2020/07)

一、美國商標法之「混淆之虞」

美國商標法(又稱「Lanham Act」)中「所謂混淆之虞,指後使用人(junior user)使用相同或相似的標章,而可能對購買人等造成來源(source)、贊助(sponsorship)、附屬關係(affiliation)(指結為關係企業或組織)或關聯(connection)的混淆。混淆之虞指可望發生混淆的情形,虞(likelihood)即英文probability(可望發生)之意,不僅僅是一種可能性(possibility)。」(註一)

美國「商標法僅要求混淆『之虞』有減輕原告舉證責任之作用。然而,混淆之虞不等於『混淆可能性』(possibility of confusion),而是介於真正混淆與混淆『可能性』之間的中間概念。第七巡迴法院在August Storck K.G. v. Nabisco, Inc.案曾解釋,不論標章之使用者如何小心,一定會有某些少數的消費者被混淆,此即混淆『可能性』的情況。『之虞』代表一種量的門檻(threshold quantum)─要有『相當數量』(appreciable number)的合理購買人,可能被近似的標章所混淆─才使混淆『可能性』升高到混淆『之虞』。」(註二)

二、構成「混淆之虞」之因素

目前美國專利商標局(United States Patent and Trademark Office,簡稱USPTO)依美國商標法第2(d)條之規定,若審查員認為申請中之商標近似於已註冊於USPTO之商標,而造成可能之消費者對申請人和商標權人之商品和/或服務來源混淆、誤認、欺罔之虞者,得以第2(d)條為拒絕註冊於主註冊簿之事由。(註三)

然而,美國13個聯邦上訴法院對於判斷是否構成混淆之虞之因素,有其各自考量之因素,例如,第二巡迴上訴法院有8項「Polaroid factors」, (註四)而美國海關及專利上訴法院(United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, 簡稱C.C.P.A.) (註五)於In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.案,列出13項考量混淆之虞之因素。目前USPTO審查員依商標審查程序手冊(Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure,簡稱TMEP)判斷商標是否構成混淆之虞,(註六)主要即係採du Pont案中所列舉之13項「du Pont factors」:(註七)

(1)  The similarity or dissimilarity of the marks in their entireties as to appearance, sound, connotation and commercial impression.
(商標整體之外觀、讀音、觀念及商業印象是否相似)

(2)  The similarity or dissimilarity and nature of the goods or services as described in an application or registration or in connection with which a prior mark is in use.
(於商標註冊申請書或註冊證中描述或在先使用商標之商品或服務是否類似及其性質)

(3)  The similarity or dissimilarity of established, likely-to-continue trade channels.
(既有、可能繼續之經銷管道是否相似)

(4)  The conditions under which and buyers to whom sales are made, i.e. “impulse” vs. careful, sophisticated purchasing.
(購買條件及購買人,即「衝動購買」相對於「小心、經驗豐富之購買」)

(5)  The fame of the prior mark (sales, advertising, length of use).
(在先商標之知名度(銷售、廣告、使用時間))

(6)  The number and nature of similar marks in use on similar goods.
(使用於類似商品(或服務)的近似商標之數量及性質)

(7)  The nature and extent of any actual confusion.
(任何實際混淆之性質及範圍)

(8)  The length of time during and conditions under which there has been concurrent use without evidence of actual confusion.
(無實際混淆證據下之同時使用之期間及狀況)

(9)  The variety of goods on which a mark is or is not used (house mark, “family” mark, product mark).
(商標使用或未使用之商品之多樣性(主商標、「系列」商標、產品商標)

(10)  The market interface between applicant and the owner of a prior mark . . . .
(商標申請人與在先商標權人間市場之相互影響)

(11)  The extent to which applicant has a right to exclude others from use of its mark on its goods.
(商標申請人有權排除他人使用其商標於其商品上之範圍)

(12)  The extent of potential confusion, i.e., whether de minimis or substantial.
(潛在混淆之範圍,即是否輕微或實質之混淆)

(13)  Any other established fact probative of the effect of use.
(其他任何能證明使用效果之事實,即概括條款(the “catch-all” factor))

因是否構成混淆之虞係以個別情形判斷且分別適用du Pont案中所列舉之13項因素,(註八)而某些個案可能僅有其中一些「相關且有紀錄的」(relevant and of record)因素需要被考慮,(註九)故在各個個案中,無須逐一審酌所有13項「du Pont factors」。目前C.A.F.C.及美國商標審理及上訴委員會(Trademark Trail and Appeal Board,簡稱TTAB)皆肯認衡量混淆之虞時,「du Pont factors」中(1)商標是否相同或近似及(2)商品和/或服務同一或類似係最為關鍵之2項因素,但該2項因素並不排除其他考慮因素之適用。(註十)

三、第6項「du Pont factors」—使用於類似商品(或服務)的近似商標之數量及性質(商標強度[the strength of the trademark])

申請人針對美國商標法第2(d)條「混淆之虞」核駁或以有「混淆之虞」而被異議提出答辯時,除主張商標不近似及商品或服務不類似外,亦可主張因有其他第三人註冊或使用含有與據以核駁商標或據以異議商標相同組成要素之存在,且使用於類似之商品或服務上,因此據以核駁商標或據以異議商標之商標強度弱而應享有較少之保護。

C.A.F.C.於Juice Generation, Inc. v. GS Enters LLC案認為,第三人之使用或註冊於類似之商品或服務上之證據,通常可用於證明一個屬於描述性或已經通用之商標,消費者會以商標其他不同之要素識別商品或服務之來源。(註十一)且若有相同之要素使用於系爭商標與據以核駁商標或據以異議商標,而該要素係普遍用於一特定之領域、行業,則因該相同之要素有公認描述性(well-recognized descriptive)或高度暗示性(highly suggestive)意義,在法律上將被認為是商標強度相對較弱的,而獲得較少之保護,(註十二)因描述性或高度暗示性的商標較獨創想像性(fanciful)商標更不可能對識別商品或服務之來源造成混淆。(註十三)

Juice Generation案於2015年7月20日判決以後,C.A.F.C.另於同年8月19日在Jack Wolfskin Ausrustung Fur Draussen GmbH & Co. KGAA v. New Millennium Sports, S.L.U.案(註十四)進一步重申其判斷第三人使用或註冊之證據所應適用之原則,如同該法院於Juice Generation案所述,「該第三人廣泛使用和註冊之證據係『在表面上非常強而有力的』(powerful on its face),就算該使用之具體程度範圍和影響尚未被證明」。(註十五)故自Juice Generation案和Jack Wolfskin案判決以後,USPTO審查員、TTAB或C.A.F.C.應依系爭商標申請人或系爭商標權人所提出第三人使用或註冊之證據數量,判斷該證據之數量是否足以證明據以核駁商標或據以異議商標之商標強度弱,而應給予較少之保護。因此,系爭商標申請人或系爭商標權人若能提出第三人廣泛(extensive)且大量(voluminous)使用或註冊之證據,(註十六)將更有機會克服USPTO審查員核發之「混淆之虞」核駁理由先行通知,甚或於異議或撤銷(cancellation)程序中克服對造「混淆之虞」之主張。

至於提出多少數量之第三人使用或註冊之證據始能證明據以核駁商標或據以異議商標之商標強度弱,不論在Juice Generation案或是Jack Wolfskin案C.A.F.C.皆未明確設立,但可從Juice Generation案、Jack Wolfskin案和近期TTAB相關判決,參考個案中系爭商標申請人或被異議人提出相關證據之數量,來探知目前C.A.F.C.和TTAB對於第三人使用或註冊之證據數量之判斷標準,進而推論得以被認定為廣泛且大量使用證據之數量。

1. Juice Generation 案 (26個第三人註冊或使用之證據)

 

上訴人

Juice Generation公司

異議人

GS Enterprises有限責任公司

商標

註冊號數

4923032

3291917

3291918

3713785

3885867

指定服務

第43類之果汁吧服務

第43類之餐廳服務


原告兼上訴人Juice Generation公司提出非常多個第三人註冊含有「peace」及「love」商標並指定於餐廳服務或食品類商品,和7個未註冊但使用含有「peace」及「love」加上其他文字之網頁、網址資料。(註十七)而C.A.F.C.認為下列26個證據資料(註十八)足以證明第三人大量(considerable number of)使用「peace」及「love」之證據:(註十九) 
 

商標

註冊號數

類別

2874435

43

PEACE LOVE AND PIZZA

4066919

25、43

PEACE LOVE YOGURT

4075226

30

PEACE, LOVE & ICE CREAM

4328553

43

PEACE, LOVE AND LITTLE DONUTS

4153589

35

PEACE.LOVE.DÖNER

3695017

43

PEACE, LOVE & BEER

3819518

35

4006300

30

PEACE LOVE & OATS

http://www.peaceloveandoats.com/

PEACE. LOVE. & GOOD FOOD.

http://www.peacelovegoodfood.com/

PEACE, LOVE AND FRENCH FRIES

http://peaceloveandfrenchfries.com/

4405482

25

PEACE LOVE BURRITOS

http://www.burritobarbrooklyn.com/

PEACE, LOVE, AND BURGERS

3911708

29

PEACE · LOVE ·PANCAKES

3922964

43

PEACE LOVE & BARBECUE

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/338/1718787/restaurant/Perth/Peace-Love-Barbecu-Fremantle

PEACE, LOVE & CRUNCH

3542995

30

PEACE LOVE GRANOLA

3863443

30

PEACE, LOVE AND PINOT

3357644

33

PEACE. LOVE.TREATS.

4071197

30

PEACE, LOVE, AND CHOPS

3911710

29

PEACE, LOVE, AND HOT DOGS

3911709

29

PEACE. LOVE. PASTA.

http://peacelovepasta.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/cog-au-vin/

PEECE LUV CHIKIN

3614378

43

PEACE, LOVE & CHEESECAKE

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g31582-d1867276-Reviews- PEACE_LOVE_CHEESECAKE-Eureka­_Springs_Arkansas.html

PEACE LOVE AND APPLE PIE

http://www.peaceloveapplepie.com/review-best-juice-is-by-evolution/

2.  Jack Wolfskin 案 (14個第三人註冊或使用之證據) 

 

上訴人
Jack Wolfskin公司

異議人
New Millennium公司

商標

註冊號數

5056615

1856808

相關商品

第25類之衣著,即圓領長袖運動衫、襯衫、背心、褲子、短褲等;靴鞋,即靴、鞋子、涼鞋、運動鞋、拖鞋;頭部穿戴物,即帽子、頭巾和帽子

第25類之衣著,即運動服、褲子、短褲、背心、襯衫、圓領長袖運動衫、長襪、襪子、雨衣、背心;靴鞋,即運動鞋、靴和拖鞋;頭部穿戴物,即帽子


原告兼上訴人Jack Wolfskin公司提出21個第三人註冊含有單獨之「掌印」圖形、73個與其他文字或圖形等結合「掌印」圖形並指定衣著類相關商品,(註二十)和28個網路資料顯示第三人在美國使用含有「掌印」圖形於衣著類相關商品。(註二十一) 而C.A.F.C.認為其中比較顯著的例子為下列15個商標分別由不同之商標權人(其中「the Wayne State College」有2個「掌印」圖形之註冊第4051720及第4051721號商標)之第三人註冊或使用資料,且足以證明第三人廣泛且大量註冊和使用「掌印」圖形於網際網路商務衣著類相關商品之證據:(註二十二)

商標

註冊號數

類別

1283026

6911161820212425262834

http://clemson.bncollege.com

1711824

2541

http://www.bkstr.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?catalogId=10 001&lang1d=-1&demoKey=d&storeId=10324

2608609

25

http://bookstore.unm.edu

3217992

91625

3856565

2541

http://www.montanabookstore.com

2937884

25

4297811

2541

4051720

2541

4051721

2541

http://www.bkstr.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?catalogId=10 001&langId=-1&demoKey=d&storeId=108405

3948300

25

http://bearpaw.com

https://www.facebook.com/BEARPAWshoes

3684426

25

www.wolverineworldwide.com

3270182

25

http://www.alaskanhardgear.com

2952132

141621252729

2485021

2530

4238803

25


3.  In re Boston Juicery, LLC 案 (12個第三人註冊之證據)

 

上訴人
Boston Juicery有限責任公司

據以核駁商標

商標

SQUEEZE JUICE COMPANY

 

申請/註冊號數

86877537

4734340

指定商品/服務

第32類之果汁、蔬菜汁、水果冰沙飲料
第43類之果汁吧服務、水果冰沙飲料吧服務、咖啡館服務

第43類之酒吧服務、果汁吧服務


上訴人Boston Juicery有限責任公司於其核駁答辯中,提出10個第三人註冊含有「squeeze」並指定於第32類果汁和果汁飲料相關商品,和8個第三人註冊含有「squeeze」並指定於第43類果汁吧或餐廳等服務,(註二十三)而TTAB認為其中下列12個「第三人註冊商標皆分別為不同之商標權人所有,而顯示『squeeze』使用於果汁、水果冰沙飲料、果汁吧服務和咖啡館服務係屬於高度暗示性之文字」:(註二十四)

商標

註冊號數

類別

"WE SQUEEZE TO PLEEZE"

4624738

32

HAPPYSQUEEZE

4094265

32

KARMIC SQUEEZE

4318595

32

NATURE'S SQUEEZE

4176892

32

TEXAS SQUEEZE

4215513

32

SQUEEZE THE DAY

4039849

32

BIG SQUEEZE

3039948

32

PURE SQUEEZE

3743301

32

SQUEEZE YOUR IMAGINATION

5027486

3243

MORNING SQUEEZE

4433466

43

THE MAIN SQUEEZE

5084563

43

4862321

43

 
4. In re Vox Media, Inc. 案 (9個第三人註冊之證據)

 

上訴人
Vox Media有限責任公司

據以核駁商標

商標

CODE

CODE

CODE2040

申請/註冊號數

87099703

3246221

4828407

相關服務

第35類之在媒體、科技、商業、商務、消費產品、創業、初創企業、企業科技、數位科技和移動式平台等領域安排、組織和進行教育性活動、會議、研討會和專題座談會

第41類之教育服務,即提供提高推銷和行銷領域之銷售培訓

第41類之教育服務,即在領導力、商業、創業、科技、工程等,和專業拓展人際網絡而提供研討會、課程和靜修


本案USPTO審查員主要係以註冊號數第3246221號「CODE」商標及第4828407號「CODE2040」商標指定於第41類之服務核駁上訴人Vox Media有限責任公司於第35類之商標申請。 

然上訴人僅提出下列9個第三人註冊含有「code」並指定於第41類相關服務之商標為證據,(註二十五)但TTAB認為本案申請人所提出之9個第三人註冊之證據不論係與Jack Wolfskin案中所呈現之「大量」和「廣泛」之證據,或與Juice Generation案中所提出至少26個第三人註冊或使用之證據相比,數量上之差距實在太過於懸殊,進而維持USPTO核駁該系爭商標申請之決定。(註二十六)  
 

商標

註冊號數

類別

5285215

4142

CODESPIRE

5241450

41

5240264

4142

CODEON

5236321

41

5216639

41

5260271

41

5279571

41

5284955

41

MONETIZE YOUR CODE

5236814

41


四、結語

因美國是判例法(case law)國家,不論是USPTO之審查員或是TTAB,皆必須依照個別案件不同之具體事實判斷,且適用其所屬上級機關或法院之判決和判例並受其拘束。由以上案例可知,雖然目前C.A.F.C.和TTAB皆未對第三人使用或註冊等證據之質量(即就算該證據無附加其他證據證明其於市場上可能造成之影響和消費者對該第三人商標之觀感)提出進一步之要求,但系爭商標申請人或系爭商標權人於蒐集或保存證據時,仍然需要注意除了數量以外,亦須篩選並著重於其質量之高低,以利提高證據之證明力。

附註:

註一、趙晉枚(計畫主持人),商標法整體法制暨具體修法建議之研究,經濟部智慧財產局,2005年11月,頁 119,https://www1.tipo.gov.tw/public/Attachment/322612355327.pdf (最後流覽日:2020/05/15)。
註二、王敏銓,美國商標法之混淆之虞及其特殊態樣之研究,智慧財產權月刊 94 期,2006年10月,頁 87,https://www.tipo.gov.tw/tw/dl-4559-3430067b1f834cd0b5c6c597ab6a765b.html (最後流覽日:2020/05/20)。
註三、See Lanham Act, § 2(d), 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d) (“No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it—(d)Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark registered in the Patent and Trademark Office, or a mark or trade name previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned, as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive: Provided, That if the Director determines that confusion, mistake, or deception is not likely to result from the continued use by more than one person of the same or similar marks under conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the marks or the goods on or in connection with which such marks are used, concurrent registrations may be issued to such persons when they have become entitled to use such marks as a result of their concurrent lawful use in commerce prior to (1) the earliest of the filing dates of the applications pending or of any registration issued under this chapter; (2) July 5, 1947, in the case of registrations previously issued under the Act of March 3, 1881, or February 20, 1905, and continuing in full force and effect on that date; or (3) July 5, 1947, in the case of applications filed under the Act of February 20, 1905, and registered after July 5, 1947. Use prior to the filing date of any pending application or a registration shall not be required when the owner of such application or registration consents to the grant of a concurrent registration to the applicant. Concurrent registrations may also be issued by the Director when a court of competent jurisdiction has finally determined that more than one person is entitled to use the same or similar marks in commerce. In issuing concurrent registrations, the Director shall prescribe conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the mark or the goods on or in connection with which such mark is registered to the respective persons.”).
註四、Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Electronics Corp., 287 F.2d 492, 495 (2d Cir. 1961) (“the strength of his mark, the degree of similarity between the two marks, the proximity of the products, the likelihood that the prior owner will bridge the gap, actual confusion, and the reciprocal of defendant’s good faith in adopting its own mark, the quality of defendant’s product, and the sophistication of the buyers”).
註五、即現在美國上訴法院聯邦巡迴法院(United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 簡稱C.A.F.C.)之前身,http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/the-court/court-jurisdiction (最後流覽日:2020/05/21)。
註六、TMEP § 1207.01.
註七、In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 1361, 177 USPQ 563, 567 (CCPA 1973).
註八、In re i.am.symbolic, LLC, 866 F.3d 1315, 1322, 123 USPQ2d 1744, 1747 (Fed. Cir. 2017).
註九、M2 Software, Inc. v. M2 Commc’ns, Inc., 450 F.3d 1378, 1382, 78 USPQ2d 1944, 1947 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (citing Shen Mfg. Co. v. Ritz Hotel Ltd., 393 F.3d 1238, 1241, 73 USPQ2d 1350, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2004)); see In re Inn at St. John’s, LLC, 126 USPQ2d 1742, 1744 (TTAB 2018).
註十、See In re i.am.symbolic, LLC, 866 F.3d at 1322, 123 USPQ2d at 1747 (quoting Herbko Int’l, Inc. v. Kappa Books, Inc., 308 F.3d 1156, 1164-65, 64 USPQ2d 1375, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2002)); Federated Foods, Inc. v. Fort Howard Paper Co., 544 F.2d 1098, 1103, 192 USPQ 24, 29 (CCPA 1976) (“The fundamental inquiry mandated by [Section] 2(d) goes to the cumulative effect of differences in the essential characteristics of the goods [or services] and differences in the marks.”); TMEP §1207.01.
註十一、See Juice Generation, Inc. v. GS Enters LLC, 794 F.3d 1334, 115 USPQ2d 1671 (Fed. Cir. 2015). See also, In re Hartz Hotel Servs. Inc., 102 USPQ2d 1150 (TTAB 2012).
註十二、See Tektronix, Inc. v. Daktronics, Inc., 534 F.2d 915 (CCPA 1976) 2015); see also In re Morinaga Nyugyo Kabushiki Kaisha, 120 USPQ2d 1738, 1745 (TTAB 2016) (“[T]hird-party registrations are relevant evidence of the inherent or conceptual strength of a mark or term because they are probative of how terms are used in connection with the goods or services identified in the registrations.”).
註十三、See Juice Generation, 794 F.3d at 1339 (“Marks that are descriptive or highly suggestive are entitled to a narrower scope of protection, i.e., are less likely to generate confusion over source identification, than their more fanciful counterparts.”).
註十四、Jack Wolfskin Ausrustung Fur Draussen GmbH & Co. KGAA v. New Millennium Sports, S.L.U., 797 F.3d1363, 116 USPQ2d 1129 (Fed. Cir. 2015).
註十五、Id. 116 USPQ2d at 1136 (“As we recently explained in Juice Generation, such extensive evidence of third-party use and registrations is “powerful on its face,” even where the specific extent and impact of the usage has not been established.”); Juice Generation, 115 USPQ2d at 1674.
註十六、Id.
註十七、Opposition No. 91206450, Applicant’s Response to Opposer’s Motion to Strike Applicant’s Notice of Reliance at TTABvue # 12, http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91206450&pty=OPP&eno=12; Id. at 13, http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91206450&pty=OPP&eno=13.
註十八、Juice Generation, 115 USPQ2d at 1673 n.1.
註十九、Id. at 1674-75.
註二十、Opposition No. 91195604, Applicant’s Notice of Reliance at TTABvue # 51, http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91195604&pty=OPP&eno=51.
註二十一、Id. at 52, http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91195604&pty=OPP&eno=52; Id. at 53, http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91195604&pty=OPP&eno=53.註二十二、Jack Wolfskin, 116 USPQ2d at 1136 n.2.
註二十三、Response to Office Action for Application Serial No. 86877537 at 7-8 (November 1, 2016).
註二十四、In re Boston Juicery, LLC, Serial No. 86877537 at 10 (August 21, 2018).
註二十五、Request for Reconsideration after Final Action for Application Serial No. 87099703 at 5-6 (October 13, 2017).
註二十六、In re Vox Media, Inc., Serial No. 87099703 (July 18, 2018) (“Applicant has not presented evidence of use in connection with the third-party registrations and its evidence of nine third-party registrations falls far short of the ‘voluminous’ and ‘extensive’ evidence’ presented in Jack Wolfskin, 116 USPQ2d at 113

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