The Italians

A strong brand is worth a “million”. For this reason we always recommend choosing a brand that only indirectly refers to the qualities of the product. Or better, does not refer at all and is a true word from the imagination. It takes more effort to get the brand known but in terms of trademark protection such a trademark is rewarding.

Yet it does not mean that the somewhat descriptive brand are not protected at all. Especially in the EU the perception of trademarks is diverse. This is also reflected in the case law of the EUIPO whereas descriptive English words that are registered as a European trademark get some protection in the event that the consumer in for example Spain or Latvia does not understand the meaning.

In addition, you also have trademarks that are somewhat descriptive and somewhat referring. True doubtful cases. Like in this case The Italian for food and a restaurant. You exactly know the meaning and in respect of the products, the meaning is rather descriptive in our view. In the opposition proceedings against The Italians, the EUIPO found the protection limited but still present. Now that the trademarks are similar to a high extent, the opposition is upheld.

Arnaud Bos

“Trademark protection gives freedom to do business.”

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