The goal of the Mexican company Oportunidad ACN México, S. de R.L. de C.V. is to provide all essential products and services. Important products and services are telecommunication and personal healthcare. Although the connection between these to is somewhat indistinct, we have to admit that both are essential for today’s living.
Benevita is the brand for the personal healthcare and wellness products. The slogan is “Look Great! Feel great! Live Great!”. No doubt, an energetic tagline!
This slogan has been filed as a trademark in the EU (probably with the good memories of Vorsprung durch technik still in their head). But the OHIM is quite reluctant: it refuses the tagline (slogan) as “the relevant consumers will instantly understand the word mark ‘Look Great! Feel Great! Live Great!’ as a promotional slogan, the function of which is to communicate a motivational and inspirational statement which highlights positive aspects of the relevant goods and services in Classes 3, 5 and 41, namely that they can improve the life of the consumers.”
The Applicant files an appeal stressing that the slogan is not laudatory and does to refer to the products in question. The Board however, does not agree. This slogan will be understood by any English speaker as indicating that the goods and services facilitate and help to have a striking or
excellent appearance. Moreover, “the sign conveys nothing beyond its purely promotional function that would cause it to be perceived as an indication of origin. In this regard, it is a well-known fact that consumers are accustomed to such short, compact and punchy promotional messages and do not accord trade mark value to such expressions.” The Board confirms the refusal.
So, the bottom line is that slogans can still be distinctive trademarks. However, they have to have something conceived, something special and not the normal accumulation of normal words. Of course, this makes it very difficult to protect slogans as the mere task of a slogan is a powerful phrase expressing the brand value of the trademark.
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