Fiat 500 claimed

The (old) Fiat 500 has been filed as a 3D trademark by Fiat. Not for cars (Fiat has already registered that trademark) but for electrical appliances, software and DVDs.

Unique? No, besides Fiat Volkswagen has also registered their camper van and beetle. When this trademark will be accepted and registered Fiat acquires the exclusive rights of the shape of the car, i.e., the use of this shape for the products for which the mark is registered.

Some trademark offices have some difficulties with accepting this kind of 3D marks. On one hand, such a shape has distinctive character (anyone will recognize this car from Fiat), but one of the exceptions of 3D marks is that 3D marks are excluded from protection in the event the shape that is claimed determines the attractiveness of the product. And one can discuss this in respect of cars, most of the times cars are bought because of their looks. Nevertheless, it seems that the Ohim generally accepts this kind of 3D marks.

A different question is which intentions Fiat has with this registration: software in the form of a car? Seems unlikely. A trademark registration as prevention of abuse? More likely, but then the products are kind of strange. Maybe the aim is to control DVD’s about Fiat 500. We feel that Fiat may encounter problems in invoking this trademark against for example somebody who uses a picture of a Fiat 500 on a book about Fiat 500. Well, time will tell.

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Knijff Merkenadviseurs


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