0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

Bang to rights

7 October 2011

Bang & Olufsen has been refused registration of the shape of one its speakers as a community trade mark. The General Court of the European Union confirmed that whilst the shape of a product may be registrable as a trade mark, a mark which consists exclusively of the shape which gives substantial value to the goods cannot: this is an absolute ground for refusing to register a mark. The court found that the design of the Bang & Olufsen speaker was an essential part of Bang & Olufsen’s branding and increases the value of the product as well as being a key selling point of the product. The shape therefore gives ‘substantial value’ to the product making it unregistrable.

This has to be the right decision: whilst the design of the product gives value to the goods it does not act as a badge of origin.

Related opinions

Relief for landlords as the Court of Appeal confirms that leases have been validly contracted out

One of the requirements for tenants to contract out of the security of tenure regime contained in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is that they make a simple or statutory declaration before entering into the lease.

View blog

Summary judgment stayed where part 26A restructuring plan pending

Landlords should reconsider summary judgment if a Part 26A restructuring plan is pending.

View blog

Landlords’ claims for summary judgment for ‘Covid’ rent arrears succeed (again)

A landlord’s claim for summary judgment to recover rent and service charge arrears accrued since the start of the pandemic against a non-essential retailer succeeded. Like London buses, a second such case has followed hot on its heels.

View blog

The High Court offers no comfort for beleaguered retailers

Whilst this decision may not be surprising, it will undoubtedly send a chill down the spine of retailers in a similar position to The Fragrance Shop.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up