We recently discussed trademark rights on portraits. In reality, mainly famous people’s portraits can acquire trademark rights. We have seen two applications in the European trademark register that are a good example of portrait trademarks.
Charlie Chaplin’s portrait has been submitted as a 3D brand for a wide range of products and services. The trademark owner has the IP rights to Charlie Chaplin. With this application, this company is probably trying to combat, for example, unauthorized merchandising. The application is still being pending and should, in our opinion, be accepted. The same mark is already a registered mark in France.
DJ Marshmello has also filed his image as a 3D brand. This DJ always wears a mask. Registering his portrait – therefore, makes little sense, since his face is unknown. His mask, on the other hand, does have a brand function. The mask has been applied for as a 3D trademark. To make it even clearer that it is a mask, a person (in dotted lines) is shown in the application. The question is whether this mask differs significantly from what already exists in the market. We think so, but this is up to the EUIPO to decide.
So, in case of famous people, also consider protection of the portrait! At the end, it represents value.
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