Volvo has been unsuccessful in its opposition to the registration of LOVOL in respect of, inter alia, automobiles, with the Trade Marks Office finding that LOVOL was not deceptively similar to VOLVO in Volvo Trademark Holding AB v Hebei Aulion Heavy Industries Co Ltd [2009] ATMO 46.

The opponent sought to highlight the visual and aural similarity of the two marks noting that they largely involved rearrangement of the letters and sounds of the V, O and L, and that “the rearrangement of VOLVO into LOVOL might be interpreted (consciously or subconsciously) as a play on the word VOLVO”.The applicant pointed to the striking visual symmetry of the word LOVOL, which it noted was palindromic, by comparison with VOLVO which it said to be dominated by its two V’s. The applicant also referred to the fact that the two marks would be pronounced very differently, particularly in Australian accents.The Hearing Officer concluded that “In the circumstances that the goods will be bought or sold, I do not consider that there is a real and substantial risk that the use of the LOVOL marks will be that a reasonable person, or a number of persons in the relevant class of likely purchasers, will be caused to wonder whether it might not be the case that the two products come from the same source”.