Shaken, not stirred

22381908637_4a82d220e7_o“Shaken, not stirred” is the world famous catchphrase from the James Bond movies where Bond informs the waiter how he wants his Martini.
This sentence was filed as a European trademark by an English company for amongst others beer and non-alcoholic beverages. Danjaq, the company that manages rights of the James Bond films, filed an opposition against this application.
This catchphrase was never registered as a trademark by Danjaq (you can not register everything after all), so the opposition was based on an unregistered trademark right in the UK, namely the use of this phrase. Danjaq subsequently filed much evidence of this unregistered right, such as articles mentioning this sentence and IMDb references.
The OHIM recognizes the internationally renowned reputation of the catchphrase but sees no trademark use in the evidence, namely use as an indication of origin of products or services. The opposition is therefore rejected. However, the OHIM admits that copyright protection may apply to this catchphrase. As this should be a basis for an invalidity action, this ground cannot be invoked during the opposition proceedings. So, like James Bond movies, this may be subject of a sequel!

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