Marchio di colore e secondary meaning

Marcel Pemsel in IPKat dà notizia di una interssante sentenza che andrà studiata con attenzione (assieme ai suoi precedenti amministrativi) sui due temi in oggetto: Trib. UE T-652/22 del 6 maerzo 2024, Lidl c. EUIPO-MHCS (successore di Veuve Clicquot).

Si tratta di marchio di colore (anzi marchio figurativo era stato detto inizialmente: da studiarne la differenza disciplinare) assai noto, l’arancione della celebre casa vinicola:

Circa l’art. 4 del reg. 40/1994 (Segni atti a costituire un marchio comunitario: Possono costituire marchi comunitari tutti i segni che possono essere riprodotti graficamente, in particolare le parole, compresi i nomi di persone, i disegni, le lettere, le cifre, la forma dei prodotti o del loro confezionamento, a condizione che tali segni siano adatti a distinguere i prodotti o i servizi di un’impresa da quelli di altre imprese), il T. non vede provblemmi: la descrizione e il codice tecnico assieme rendono sufficientemente descritto il segno scelto:

<<57  However, in the present case, it must be stated, first, that the description of the mark at issue was indeed taken into account by the Board of Appeal (see paragraph 67 of the contested decision). Secondly, it must be pointed out, as observed by the intervener, that although the applicant submits that the scientific definition of the CIE satisfies neither the criteria of the judgment in Sieckmann nor those of Article 4 of Regulation No 40/94, it has not claimed that there is a contradiction between the colour sample at issue and the description containing the scientific definition of the CIE. When questioned on that point at the hearing, the applicant argued that the actual demonstration of the contradiction was not the subject matter of the present proceedings.

58 Thus, since, in the present case, the requirements of Article 4 of Regulation No 40/94, as set out by the judgment in Sieckmann, are met by the colour sample at issue (see paragraph 54 above) and are not contradicted by the description provided and the scientific definition that was indeed taken into account together (see paragraph 57 above), it is not necessary to examine whether the description of the mark at issue and the scientific definition of the CIE satisfy the criteria of that article and that judgment. According to the case-law cited in paragraphs 55 and 56 above, there is no requirement that the description of the mark, when included in the application form, must by itself satisfy the criteria of the article>>.

Più dettagliato è lo snodo motivatorio sulla prova del secondary meaning che deve  riguardare tutta la UE. Prova assai complicata per chiunque, anche per i colossi del vino.

Qui non posso che rimandare alla sentenza, che conclude affermando l’insufficienza di valutazione e rimandand in sede amministrativa.

Nullità di combinazione cromatica come marchio perchè insufficientemente chiaro e preciso

Il 2° Board of Appeal EUIPO 07.02.2024m, Case R 2087/2023-2, Storch-Ciret Holding GmbH, decide sull’appello contro la decisione che aveva rigetgtat la domadna di retistarizone per il seguente segno

Conferma il 1 grado amministrativo per cui è insufficientemente preciso violando gli artt. 4 e 7.1.a):

24 On that basis, it must be found that the sign applied for does not meet the precision requirement specified in Article 3(3)(f) (ii) EUTMIR, which is also to be used when interpreting Article 4(b) EUTMR.
25 The rectangles reproduced in the representation mentioned are already visually reminiscent of a mere coloured pattern. Above all, however, it is evident from the nature of the applicant’s request, which is directed at a colour mark, that the representation in rectangles can only have a pattern. It cannot constitute a restriction of the colour shades to the shown sequence of rectangles. Such a view would be inconsistent with claiming as a colour mark (27/03/2019, C-578/17, Hartwall, EU:C:2019:261, § 40 et. seq.). If only a horizontal row of coloured rectangles with white intermediate areas were claimed, the trade mark would be a purely figurative mark which, as emphasised by the applicant, is precisely not claimed (cf. in this respect the first decision of the Office on the application
of 8 March 2021, 3 et seq.).
26 The distribution by volume of the colours claimed, which requires a sufficiently clear systematic arrangement (cf. denied in respect of ‘approximately 50 % to 50 %’ in 30/11/2017, T-102/15 ure T-101/15, BLUE AND SILVER, EU:T:2017:852, § 58 et seq.), is unclear in the present case. As stated, the reproduction of the shades in rectangles appears to be a simple representation of colour patterns. It may be that the applicant thereby wishes to express an identical distribution of these shades of colour.
However, there is no objective evidence of this, which means that there is ultimately a speculation. In addition, the quantitative proportion of the colour ‘white’ is also open to doubts. In the specific representation, it indicates a narrow distance between the individual shades of colour in the rectangles. However, as stated (para. 25), the application for protection is not restricted to a reproduction of the shades in rectangles. It is unclear how the proportion in other designs is supposed to be.
27 The representation applied for also leaves open the question of which systematic arrangement of the shades is otherwise claimed. The information provided by the applicant, if the entry as rectangles is not understood as conclusive, allows a large number of different combinations of colours to be associated (30/11/2017, T-102/15 —  T-101/15, BLUE AND SILVER, EU:T:2017:852, § 58 et seq.; see also the colour mark ……….., 14/06/2012, T-293/10, seven squares of different colours, EU:T:2012:302, § 56 et seq.) comparable with the colour mark applied for. It is not even clear whether each of the colours has the same shape and be designed in parallel.
28 As a result, too many ambiguities remain in the present case, which cannot be to the detriment of the general public. In its submissions, too, the applicant itself only withdrew itself with the general assertion that what can be seen here was claimed. However, this is precisely unclear if no purely figurative design is claimed.
29 The applicant could have easily encountered these objections, for example by making use of the possibility of submitting a description in the field of colour combination marks by way of exception. It is correct that a description pursuant to Article 3(3)(f) (ii) EUTMIR is not formally mandatory. However, it remains the responsibility of the applicant to satisfy the precision requirement under Article 4 EUTMR or the requirement of a systematic arrangement in which the colours concerned are combined in a predetermined and uniform manner pursuant to Article 3(3)(f) (ii) EUTMIR. That did not happen in this case.
30 The refusal of the application pursuant to Article 7(1)(a) in conjunction with Article 4 EUTMR was therefore ultimately correct.
31 The examiner expressly refrained from refusing registration under Article 7(1)(b) EUTMR. That is logical, because such a decision requires a clear subject of the application, which cannot be assumed here. Nor does the Board currently see any basis for such a decision.
32 The applicant’s appeal therefore had to be dism

Sulla (assente) distintività di marchio costituito dai numeri da 1 a 23 disposti su tre file

Il board of appeal dell’EUIPO , decisione del 2 maggio 2023, case R 1967/2022-1, appl: Margiela, conferma la mancanza di distintività di marchio numerico cioè costiotuito dai numeri da 1 a 23 in progresisone e disposti su tre file, per candele, illuminazione ed altri.

Norma di riferimentoi: art. 7.1.b dell’EUTMR

Primo grado amminisrativo: <<In the contested decision, the examiner found that the relevant public would perceive the sign at issue as, for example, a listing of the product/article number, a bar code, or a pre-printed label. By doing so the examiner determined the way in which the sign applied for will, if registered, probably be shown to the public (see, to this extent, 12/09/2019, C-541/18, Sign comprising a hashtag, EU:C:2019:725, § 24, 25). The Board concurs that the sign at issue will likely be perceived by the relevant public as a pre-printed tag/label to be affixed, for example, on the goods in Classes 4, 11 and 21 or on their packaging or, with particular regard to retail services, in Class 35, on an invoice, on a letter head or on a catalogue>>.

L’ufficio in appello:

<<The fact that the sequence does not highlight any specific number does not make it distinctive for the goods and services covered by the application for registration. In particular, the Board notes that a pre-printed tag/label of long sequences of numbers in three lines, could not provide information to consumers capable of designating the commercial origin of the goods or services. For example, the sequence of numbers in three lines, when put on a tag/label for the goods at issue, could indicate the reference number of three variants of an article in stock (e.g. three variants of the same product in three colours) one on top of the other, or as a way which could enable the shop to circle one number in pen for internal accounting purposes (e.g. to indicate the number of items remaining in stock, which may vary and thus can be indicated by hand). When used for the services at issue, the long sequences of numbers in three lines, could be perceived as providing administrative information for the undertaking (e.g. company number/commercial registration number) and/or its services (e.g. publication authorisation number of the retailer’s/wholesaler’s catalogue, etc.) as explained above.
27 As regards both the goods and services applied for, the Board recalls that there must be certain aspects of the signs at issue which may be easily and instantly memorised by the relevant public and which would make it possible for those signs to be perceived immediately as indications of the commercial origin (see, to that effect and by analogy, 29/09/2009, T‑139/08, Device of smile from SMILEY (fig.), EU:T:2009:364, § 31).
28 In the present case, the sequence of numbers from 0 to 23, in three lines when applied to the goods and services for which protection is sought, would not easily and instantly be recalled by the relevant public as a distinctive sign, but will likely be perceived by the relevant public as one (or three) non-distinctive sequence(s) of numbers.
29 The Board observes that the length of the sequence(s) does not allow the individual details of the mark to be committed to memory, or the sign taken as a whole, to be apprehended. The sign for which protection is sought would be perceived by the relevant public as one (or three) long sequence(s) of numbers positioned on three separate lines, but the relevant public is unlikely to remember what numbers are listed in the sign or positioned at the beginning or at the end of each line. Therefore, the sign, taken as a whole, will be perceived as one (or three) unmemorable sequence(s) of numbers, and therefore the relevant public will not tend to perceive it as a particular indication of commercial origin>>.

Decisione esatta.

Caso comunque interessante: non è distintivo perchè non memorizzabile oppure perchè il pubblico, vedendolo, pensa a comunicaizoni ammnistrative interne all’azienda circa il prodotto?

(segnalazione di Nedim Malovic in IPKat)