The EU General Court reversed a trademark decision by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) that resulted in a win for German food producer Wajos. Wajos had applied to register a mark with the EUIPO in 2015 which covered a range of foodstuffs like oils, fruits, beer, and tea.
The trademark depicted a 3D amphora-shaped rectangle – historically used to store and transport vessels for olives, oil, and wine. But an examiner at the EUIPO rejected the application in 2016. A First Board of Appeal confirmed the ruling, finding the applied mark to be devoid of distinctive character – not distinguishing Wajos’s products from other producers.
Wajos said in a General Court that its products are gourmet, thus attract a better-informed consumer which pay more attention. The General Court did agree with the board’s assessment of the products, stating they are general products for everyday consumption, and would not be sufficient for an average level of attention exhibited by consumers.
However, although thisa review found the initial board’s ruling to be true, they stated the bulge of the mark applied for is unusual in the sectors.
Therefore, found that the applied-for mark does have the minimum required distinctiveness to be registered.