Thumbs up

3021307-inline-fb-thumbsup-printpackagingFacebook has recently filed an opposition against a ‘thumbs up’ logo, filed in the European Union for – amongst others – clothing.

Probably Facebook found this logo to be an unmistakable copy of its ‘thumbs up’ mark, registered (in combination with the word Like) as a trademark for social media services.

Are the products / services similar? Not quite, according to the OHIM. Only some products in Class 16 (printed matter) were considered similar. On the other hand, there definitely is a visual and conceptual similarity between the trademarks. Therefore, Facebook filed a bunch of evidence of the reputation of its trademark. The scope of a well-known trademark is of course broader so it could help.

But the evidence had an opposite result. The OHIM studied the evidence and was of the opinion that the ‘thumbs up Like’ logo is not used as a trademark. It’s more a feature of social networking service rather than a sign indicating the origin of products or services.

Facebook lost the opposition and also created a negative precedent. So, thumbs down.

Arnaud Bos

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