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Trade marks composed of geographical names Refusal of descriptive signs under article 3(1)(c) of the Directive to approximate the laws of the Member States.

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Presentation on theme: "Trade marks composed of geographical names Refusal of descriptive signs under article 3(1)(c) of the Directive to approximate the laws of the Member States."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trade marks composed of geographical names Refusal of descriptive signs under article 3(1)(c) of the Directive to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks (ECJ Judgment Chiemsee) Alicante, 12 June 2008 Eric Rojas Head of group – Trade marks examination Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property

2 Chiemsee (C-108-109/97) n Current 'need to leave free : n Article 3(1)(c) does not prohibit the registration of geographical names as trade marks solely where the names designate places which are, in the mind of the relevant class of persons, currently associated with the category of goods in question.

3 Chiemsee (C-108-109/97) n Future 'need to leave free : n it also applies to geographical names which are liable to be used in future by the undertakings concerned as an indication of the geographical origin of that category of goods; n the competent authority must assess whether it is reasonable to assume that such a name is, in the mind of the relevant class of persons, capable of designating the geographical origin of that category of goods

4 Chiemsee (C-108-109/97) n particular consideration should be given to the degree of familiarity amongst the relevant class of persons with the geographical name in question, with the characteristics of the place designated by that name, and with the category of goods concerned

5 Questions – national offices practices n Definition of the relevant class of persons (consumers and end users, intermediaries, other undertakings) ? n Refusal of geographical names which are unknown to the relevant class of persons but which are liable to be used in future by the undertakings concerned ?

6 Examples (1) n HANNO (cl. 1, 16, 17) n 1 Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; impregnating chemicals; … n 16 Plastic materials for packaging, in particular films, sheets, tapes, bags and shaped parts of plastic for packaging; anti-static foams for packaging; … n 17 Rubber, gutta-percha, gum, mica and goods made from these materials, included in this class; insulators, insulating materials or insulants, in particular tapes, strips and tubes of plastic, plastic foam, felt, non-woven fabrics and cellular rubber; insulating materials in liquid form or to be processed as foam and then hardened; …

7 Examples (1) n From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (…): n Hannō ( Hannō-shi?) is a city located in Saitama, Japan.?citySaitama Japan n As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 82,701 and the density of 614.42 persons per km². The total area is 134.60 km².populationdensitykm² n Hannō is mainly made up of urban and suburban areas, surrounded by mountains and rivers. The Naguri ( Canoe Shop, home of the largest canoe in Japan, is located in Hannō. n The city was founded on January 1, 1954.January 11954 n The city of Brea, California, United States is Hannō's official American Sister City.BreaCaliforniaUnited States

8 Examples (1)

9 Examples (2) n People's Republic of China (PRC) - administrative provinces and prefecture- level cities n Guangdong (Population 113 million) n Guangzhou (Canton, capital, 7,6 million) n Zhuhai n Sichuan (Population 87,2 million ) n Chengdu (Capital, Population 11 million) n Dazhou n Gansu (Population 26,2 million)


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