With regard to patronymic trademark and distinctive character in the EU trademark, you can find here below some considerations of the General Court on the most distinctive value that a surname has compared to a name. Let’s see.
By judgment of 3 June 2015 (Case T-559/13), the EU General Court stated that:
“In the absence of any specific evidence by OHIM (now EUIPO) relating to the perception of the public throughout the European Union, it is not appropriate to extend the case-law pursuant to which, in certain member States, surnames have, as a general rule, a more distinctive character than first names so that it applies to the whole of the European Union”.
The General Court disagrees with the opinion of the Board of Appeal of OHIM, for which “according to the case-law” surnames are always considered more distinctive than names and it states that the case-law never affirmed the validity of this principle in the entire territory of the Union.
As evidence of the fact that preeminence of surname should not be considered a valid principle in all EU Member States, the Court cites some precedents, including the judgment in Case T-631/11 of 20 February 2013, according to which
“the perception of signs composed of a real or fictional person’s name and surname could vary from country to country within the European Union and that it could not be excluded that, in certain Member States, consumers would remember the surname better than the first name when they perceived marks consisting of a combination of a first name and a surname”.
In this case, the Court had clearly established the validity of the principle only in “certain” Member States, not for the whole of the European Union.
The Court (paragraph 51, Case T-559/13) also notes that:
“Neither the Board of Appeal nor OHIM …have adduced specific evidence concerning the perception of the public in all the Member States permitting wider application of the rule – which, in the case-law of both the Court of Justice and the General Court, has been accepted for only a part of the European Union – that surnames are, in principle, more distinctive than first names”.
For the above reason (paragraph 53, Case T-559/13)
“In view of the fact that, for at least a part of the European Union, it is not established that surnames have, in principle, a more distinctive character than first names… there are no grounds for ascribing greater distinctiveness to the surname than to the first name from the point of view of the whole of the relevant public”.