Havaianas protected the flip flop in the European Union as a three-dimensional mark: the flip flop with Havaianas on the straps. Recently, a competitor challenged the validity of this mark. According to this party, the trademark was not sufficiently distinctive at the time of the filing. Moreover, the pictures were not clear and consisted of a usual shape.
The OHIM does not share this opinion. First of all, the pictures demonstrating the trademark are clear enough to show what the trademark right is all about. Moreover the OHIM finds that “viewed as a whole, the trademark consists of a flip flop shaped sandal which features design elements and the word ‘Havaianas’, which is displayed in a prominent position on the sandal. The public interest in the free use of the specific shapes of the products in question is therefore not engaged.”
The complaint is unjustified and is therefore rejected. So Havaianas can still continue to use this trademark (amongst others) against all lookalikes that probably will show up next summer.
© Photo Havaianas
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