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Canary Wharf loses trade mark

Written by Michael Coyle on 13 June 2015

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s3(1)(c) states (1) The following shall not be registered:

(c) trade marks which consist exclusively of signs or indications which may serve, in trade, to designate the … geographical origin … or other characteristics of goods or services. 

The Appeal failed in accordance with the decision of the CJEU in Windsurfing Chiemsee Produktions v Huber [1999] ETMR 585 [joined cases C-108/97 and C-109/97]. 'Article 3(1)(c) is to be interpreted as meaning that:

'Article 3(1)(c) is to be interpreted as meaning that:
  • It 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; 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
  • Where there is currently no association in the mind of the relevant class of persons between the geographical name and the category of goods in question, 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. In making that assessment, 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.  
  • It is not necessary for the goods to be manufactured in the geographical location in order for them to be associated with it'
 
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