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

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

A landlord’s service charge certificate was conclusive as to the sums payable by a tenant under a lease

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the wording of a service charge clause precluded a tenant from challenging the sums claimed by a landlord.

View blog

Handing back an empty shell of a building did not fulfil a vacant possession break condition

Break rights have proved a fertile source of litigation over the last few years. Courts have consistently required strict compliance with the terms of those rights.

View blog

Retail ATMs and business rates: clarity at last!

Judgement has been handed down for the seminal case of Cardtronics UK Ltd and others (Respondents) v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) (Appellants) [2020] UKSC 21.

View blog

More protection required for retailer workers as violence is on the rise, according to latest statistics

Following an MP debate on 5 November 2019, the government is due to release long-awaited guidance as to how it intends to protect workers in the retail industry against violence, harassment and abuse.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up