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Puma application for invalidity of RCD upheld by General Court

8 November 2013

The General Court upheld the OHIM’s decision that a registered community design (RCD) of a jumping animal was invalid on the basis that it did not have individual character.

The court rejected the claim that there were substantial differences between the RCD and the Puma logo concluding whether it was a domestic cat or wild puma, the overall impression was that of a jumping feline. This is particularly due to the slender and flexible nature of the animals as well as the predatory dynamics of the representation.

Both the arguments that the felines would be in different jumping phases and that the Board of Appeal had assessed the designs like trade marks were also rejected.

This case shows the importance of ensuring that the overall impression a new design produces on the informed user is different from that of a design which has previously been made available to the public particularly where the degree of design freedom is broad.

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