A trademark must be distinctive for the goods for which it has been applied for. With the recent rules and policy regarding descriptive device trademarks in mind, you might wonder whether a trademark like NOEL (Christmas) and a Santa Claus as a device would be distinctive for food products. When a consumer sees this product in December, it would understand that this products is intended for the Christmas dinner. And when seeing this device mark in July, it would not get a clue of this mark probably. Moreover, and that is an interesting question, should the trademark rights like Noel be given to one company? Christmas should be used by everyone, right? Sometimes this gives a dilemma: the question must be answered whether this sign is capable of being a trademark. But also, do we want to monopolize such public symbols? Of course, much depends of the trademark itself, but this remains an interesting question. Not for the EUIPO by the way: they are of the opinion that the trademark left is distinctive trademark and the trademarks below similar. So, the opposition is allowed.
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