In an attempt to register the dotted pattern on the handles of its knives as a 3d-trademark, the Japanese knife maker ran into a negative decision by the European General Court.
The court noted that the handle has “no clear ornamental character”, and that “their registration would improperly reduce the possibilities for competitors to bring to the market alternative product shapes”.
The dotted pattern is basically a non-skid solution, that prevents the razor sharp knife to slip out of your hands. This is a technical solution, that prevents it from being registered as a trademark: the essential characteristics of the knife handle consist exclusively of a shape that is necessary to obtain a technical result.
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