You have word marks and you have logo’s. But there’s more.
There is also a category of more ‘exotic’ trademarks, like the color mark, 3D mark and sound mark (the MGM lion roar).
But even more exotic are trademarks like the ‘Nokia handshake’ and the ‘vertically opening doors of a Lamborghini’. And of course the ‘position mark’ like the stitching on jeans back pockets and the Levi’s tab.
This exotic category of trademarks are always the centre of debate: is it a trademark or not? And how do you register such trademarks?
Let’s stick with Levi’s. The well-known stitching on the back pockets of Levi’s jeans is the classic symbol of the brand and also a registered trademark.
In China Levi’s recently won a big infringement case. The Court in Shanghai ruled that four Chinese companies were infringing Levi’s famous arcuate stitching; the design and placement on the back pockets was nearly identical. This will of course lead to confusion and mislead consumers about the origin of the jeans.
Levi’s arcuate design was first registered as a trademark in the United States in 1943 and the trademark is now registered in 166 countries and regions including China.
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