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

it’s all Greek to me

15 September 2010

Do we make assumptions about the origin of goods on the basis of a single letter?

The Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM) says not – an application for a community trade mark by Borco to register the Greek letter alpha – a – for wines was held to lack distinctive character, being a simple reproduction of the letter and also a mark that Greek consumers would not see as an indicator of origin.

Advocate General Bot thinks otherwise and contends the OHIM’s practice of automatically rejecting applications to register single letters as trade marks without a full assessment is wrong.

This decision follows swiftly on from recent decisions on colour marks and confirms that all marks must be examined on their capability of distinguishing their particular goods from those of others.

It is hard to see how the ECJ could fail to follow the Advocate General’s opinion. Clearly there are no short cuts to examining distinctiveness no matter how short the mark!

related opinions

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

Wearable security

How secure is your fitness tracker? (Not to mention your smartwatch, sleep tracker, smart shoe insoles and wearable Bluetooth keyboard). It’s something that many of us give little thought to, but perhaps we should be more concerned.

View blog

Trade mark owners must reimburse internet service providers for the cost of implementing internet blocking orders

The Supreme Court handed down judgment in the long-running Cartier dispute of 13 June 2018, overruling the Court of Appeal

View blog

CJEU shapes up nicely for Louboutin red sole trade mark

The Court of Justice of the European Union has today given its judgment in relation to a key issue in one of the most hotly debated trade mark disputes in recent times.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up