Minimum degree of distinctiveness for multimedia trademarks
Minimum degree of distinctiveness for multimedia trademarks

An interesting decision by the Board of Appeal deals with the degree of distinctiveness for multimedia trademarks. The sign in question is a comic-style short film consisting of moving word, image and sound elements in which the main character "Super Simon" flies to a vacation destination.

The video can be retrieved in the EUIPO database: Link to the trademark

Main points of the decision

The Board held that the complexity of the mark is not an argument when it comes to the degree of distinctiveness of multimedia trademarks. A multimedia mark is inherently complex. The Board of Appeal also saw no reason why the relevant public should not be able to identify this animated video as originating from a particular company.

Furthermore, the Board emphasized that it is not necessary for the distinctive character of a mark to provide information about the identity of the manufacturer of the goods or the provider of the service. This is in particular a difference to an advertising spot. Furthermore, the goods sold or services offered do not have to be part of the trademark. Incidentally, it is also no problem to affix the trademark to packaging nowadays (e.g. as a QR code).

The decision shows that, in principle, nothing else applies to multimedia trademarks than to other trademarks. The registration of such trademarks is therefore not excluded if they are directly understood as an indication of the commercial origin of the goods and services.

Link to the decision of the Board of Appeal

Do you have further questions about trademark law?

Do you have further questions about the distinctiveness of multimedia trademarks? Would you like advice on other questions of trademark law or competition law? Please take a look at our IP and trademark law service section. You can also contact us under office@geuer.at or by telephone on +43-1-4380072. We look forward to hearing from you.

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