0370 270 6000

Court of Appeal upholds the cancellation of Mattel’s Scrabble tile registration

7 October 2013

The Court of Appeal upheld an earlier decision to cancel Mattel’s UK registration for a Scrabble tile.

No examples of how the Scrabble tile might ultimately look were given in the registration. Zynga, who applied for cancellation suggested several options that show the large number of permutations that the registration could cover. These include 3M, F1 and O2. Some would clearly contravene other third party rights or be non-distinctive.

The Court of Appeal agreed that it was not one single sign and that it was not identified clearly, precisely and objectively enough. They also rejected the argument that the mark as depicted is distinctive as a result of extensive use.

This case shows applicants should take great care in their description of the mark when filing their application and make sure that it is not capable of different interpretations.

Please also see our commentary on the joined case of Nestle v Cadbury in which Cadbury’s application has also been rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Related opinions

The London Fashion Week problem - Brexit and the protection of designs in the UK

London’s prized position as one of the ‘big four’ fashion capitals could be threatened by changes to IP protection following Brexit.

View blog

Sainsbury’s response to Amazon’s entry into the grocery business

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s news of Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Food, Sainsbury’s look to expand with a proposed acquisition of Nisa.

View blog

Amazon sets the supermarkets in its sights!

Well, I think we all knew this was coming. It felt like only a matter of time before Amazon decided to focus its sights on the grocery business.

View blog

Virtual reality payment - it’s all in your head

Alibaba, one of China’s largest technology companies, recently demonstrated VR Pay, a payment service designed to allow virtual reality shoppers to pay for things simply by nodding their head.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up