Overall, everyone understands the principle and purpose of trademark law. Companies invest in names and logos to distinguish their products or services and these signs need to be protected. However, in case of sacred symbols, heritage or common names, there is often some resistance.
And in case of common surnames. A recent example hereof is Jensen, the most common surname in Denmark. Recently the Supreme Court ruled that Jensen steak house had a valid trademark Jensen. So Jensen could successfully object to a restaurant called Jensen seafood. This has upset the 750.000 Jensen’s in Denmark, and the rest of the 5,5 million Danish people.
But Jensen steak house is located in several cities and even other countries, which even more justifies the trademark Jensen. Mr. Jensen of the seafood restaurant wished he had been born with a different name, maybe he’d better wished he was born with a bit more creativity.
In order to help you to stay away from the common surnames in Europe, a list
Netherlands – De Jong
Belgium – Peeters
England – Smith
Spain – Garcia
France – Martin
Ireland – Murphy
Italy – Rossi
Germany – Muller
Source: Het Parool
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