Do you know that the signs become customary cannot be registered as valid trademarks?
It is the EUTM Regulation n. 2017/1001 which prohibits it, providing that:
“The following shall not be registered: trademarks which consist exclusively of signs or indications which have become customary in the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade” (article 7, lett.d).
The regulation is effective in all the Member States of the European Union, which cannot issue contrary provisions.
Attention to the adverb: the trademarks excluded from registration are those which are exclusively made up of signs become customary.
Examples of signs become customary not registrable:
A trademark application consisting of the symbol of high voltage has been filed:
(EUTM application n. 9894528), filed for products in class 9 (among them, by way of example, computer, hardware and software, GPS, cameras, electronic communication equipments and instruments) has been rejected because
“this device is identical to the international safety symbol known as “high voltage symbol” or “caution, risk of electronic shock”…Consequently, since it essentially coincides with the customary international sign to indicate a risk of high voltage, the Board deems it to be ineligible for registration an EUTM” (case n. R 2124/2011-5).
According to this principle, the refusal to the registration of the trademark would be issued even if we tries to register, for example the symbol of the red cross as a trademark of a medicine.
How can we understand if a trademark has become customary?
First of all, it is necessary to evaluate the trademark in relation to the products (or services) for which registration has been requested and secondly it is necessary to evaluate the trademark in relation to the perception of the relevant public
If you are going to register a trademark and you would like to have and advice in order to know whether the sign is registrable or not, Eva Troiani law firm is at your disposal. Contact us via the form or by phone: we will provide you with advice on the future of your brand.