Procter & Gamble Co. have lost a dispute on their claim that Solav’s skincare trademark application of a stylized drawing of a woman’s face and brand name was similar to their trademark for Olay skincare.
London company Nelovy Healthcare Ltd applied last year to trademark an artistic rendering of a woman’s face which appears next to the S in the brand name of Solav skin care. Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble claimed Nelovy’s mark was too similar to their Olay brand, which could lead to the loss of sales and reputational damage.
P&G opposed Nelovy’s application on the grounds of them having the trademark already registered for Olay in the UK in 1993 and others registered in the EU in 1996 and 2015. The most recent P&G trademark included an artistic rendering of a woman’s face inside an O above the word Olay, which resembles Nelovy’s rendering of a woman’s face to advertise Solav.
United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office, however, ruled that Nelovy Solav rendering is “notably different” from the trademarks for P&G’s Olay. The dispute was judged “through the eyes of the average consumer,” and while both include representations of a stylized woman’s face, the ruling stated they differ in the specific depiction of the face and produce a different impression, ruling Solav and Olay marks have different length, different beginnings and endings, and different fonts.
P&G recently spent over $20 million annually on advertising Olay across the EU and nearly $9 million in the UK. Products under the Oil of Olay were launched in the US in 1963, and the Olay brand has been used continuously in the UK and European countries since 2001.