Building brands

Building brandsOne of the most interesting discussions in trademark law is whether something can act as a trademark. Often this question applies to dubious trademarks: the doors of the Lamborghini that open and close, the green end of a shoelace, the shape of a package, etc.

In this case, a football stadium has been filed as a three-dimensional trademark. Can a building be a trademark? Previously, the Flatiron building from New York was successfully registered as an European trademark. The success rate often depends on the moment. Filing an old building that belongs to the World Heritage Site as the Colosseum in Rome will probably be rejected on the grounds that this building is such a landmark and well-known symbol that nobody will perceive this as a trademark.

This does not apply to new buildings. However, this building (a three-dimensional object) must be significantly different from the rest. In the case of the stadium this is the question: is the appearance so different that this appearance is distinctive? We will just have to wait and see and await the examination of EUIPO!

Arnaud Bos

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