Claiming places as a mark

Claiming places as a markBrands are sometimes inspired by place names, countries or territories. For example, think of brands like Columbia, Mont Blanc and Patagonia.

However, claiming geographical names as a trademark is difficult, often the indication will be seen as an indication of the origin of the products and not as a distinguishing sign. This depends on the geographic name and the products, such as Antarctica will, for example, be accepted for computer chips as it is not likely that these products will come from here.

A brand for alcoholic beverages called Dublin in itself, on the other hand, will be less suitable as a brand. The company First Island Spirits with the Dublin brand realised this in a recent opposition against Dublin’s Own. The EUIPO states that Dublin is directly linked to the capital of Ireland by the European consumer and, for that reason, is not very distinctive. As the scope of protection is closely related to the distinctiveness, the scope of protection is small. The visual differences between the brands are sufficient to create a distance. Therefore, the opposition is recjeted.

Claiming places as a mark

Arnaud Bos

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