Some companies use mascots, especially to reach out to children. Mascots create goodwill and are therefore a worthwhile communication tool.
But how to protect these mascots (in advertising “advertising properties”)? Most companies file these mascots as 2D or 3D trademark. However, a trademark only protects the particular form and not the whole concept. These limitations can result in a difference in perception of protection a mascot has.
The case of Banca Carige is a nice example. This company uses the mascot of an ant. This ant seems to be used in children education. The ant was registered as a photo-like image and as a cartoon. Banca Carige was facing an application in a.o. class 36 of an ant with a notebook. The bank was not happy about this and filed an opposition. The EUIPO assessed the invoked trademarks as well as the contested trademark and ruled that the overall impression is not similar at all. The only similarity is that both trademarks are cartoon like ants. However, this is insufficient to create a similarity.
In short, mascots are difficult to protect. Nevertheless, the trademark does offer some protection and the mascot can also be registered through a design registration for a good addition of protection. But protection remains limited to similar creatures.
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