According to the trademark office, consumers will mainly see the word Vegano as a descriptive part of the logo. The focus will be on the element Heroes, and for English speakers in the EU, that is nothing more than the plural of Hero. Therefore, there is a great conceptual similarity between the brands. For this reason, according to EUIPO, there is a risk of confusion, resulting in no European trademark protection for Vegano Heroes.
Hero is not a hero
As a Dutchman who grew up with Hero’s jam, I still query this decision. I personally don’t associate the Hero brand with the English meaning of “hero” at all. To me, Hero is just Hero and nothing else. I also don’t know if the company ever intended to create a “hero image”. On the brand’s website, I read that the name Hero comes from founders Henckell and Roth more than 100 years ago.
The plural of Hero is…
For me, this is the reason the Hero and Vegano Heroes trademarks are miles apart. However, it’s irrelevant what the subconscious effect of the Hero brand is in my head or what the inventors of Hero ever intended. EUIPO rightly looks at the English-speaking public in the EU. And for those people, Heroes is just the plural of Hero, so the trademarks become similar.