Obelix ./. MobiliX: Court says Mobilix too close to Obelix

Werner Heuser Werner.Heuser at web.de
Mon Nov 25 17:20:36 UTC 2002

MobiliX: Court says Mobilix too close to Obelix

Yesterday, the "Oberlandesgericht" (highest court of
the Bavarian state) has affirmed that the brands
"MobiliX" and Obelix" can indeed be mixed up.  The
onomatopoetic similarities are big enough that a
"normal user" could immediately be thinking of
"Obelix" when hearing the word "MobiliX".  Whether
this a fact for IT people, too, though, was not
answered by the court.  But whether the defendant
may keep the name of his company (not the brand)
depends hightly on the answer to this question.
The court has not given a final statement whether there
will be claims on information or indemnifications yet.
The sentence is expected on December, 19th.  An exact
analysis will be possible after the basis for the
decisions are at hand.
Whether the ruling of the OLG Munich will be permanent, is
an open question.  Lawyers to Mr Werner Heuser, Jaschinski
Biere Brexl - JBB (http://jbb.de), are investigating
possibilities to appeal.  At the time it is yet unclear
whether the OLG will allow the appeal.

In autumn 2001, the owners of the brand Obelix, Les
Edition Albert Rene, have sued Mr Werner Heuser.  He is
the author of the wellknown website "MobiliX".  On this
site you can find information about Unix systems on
mobile computers.  And that is why Mr Heuser had chosen
a company and domain name which show these items of the
branch by use of both "mobile" and "ix".  Therefore he
also registered the brand "MobiliX" for the branches
software, hardware, and telecommunication.

In the plaintiff's view he was using the onomatopoetic
resemblance to the famous brand of "Obelix" to make
use this famousness.  This argumentation, however, was
rejected by the court (OLG Munich) as there is no
famous brand named "Obelix" - in contrast to the
character "Obelix" in the strip cartoon.  However, the
court of appeal did see a possible mixup - other than
the court of district.

The documentation of the case is available online 
|=| Werner Heuser = Keplerstr. 11A = D-10589 Berlin = Germany
|=| <wehe_AT_mobilix.org>      T. 0049 - (0)30 - 349 53 86
|=| http://MobiliX.org         UniX on Mobile Systems: HOWTOs,Software
|=| http://Xtops.DE            Laptops+PDAs pre-installed with UniX
|*| This is no time for phony rhetoric -- Lou Reed

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