Il marchio denominativo PABLO ESCOBAR è non registrabil eper contrarietòà all’ordine poujbblucio

Trib. UE 17 April 2024 , T-25/23, Escobar inc c EUIPO, sull’art. 7.1.f reg. 2017/1001 applicato al marchio costituito dal nome del noto boss della droga:

<<17   As the Board of Appeal correctly pointed out in paragraphs 21 to 23 of the contested decision, the relevant public cannot be limited, for the purposes of the examination of the ground for refusal provided for in Article 7(1)(f) of Regulation 2017/1001, solely to the public to which the goods and services in respect of which registration is sought are directly addressed. Consideration must be given to the fact that the sign caught by that ground for refusal will shock not only the public to which the goods and services designated by the sign are addressed, but also other persons who, without being concerned by those goods and services, will encounter that sign incidentally in their day-to-day lives (see judgment of 15 March 2018, La Mafia Franchises v EUIPO – Italy (La Mafia SE SIENTA A LA MESA), T‑1/17, EU:T:2018:146, paragraph 27 and the case-law cited).

18 In addition, in order to apply that ground for refusal, it is necessary to take account not only of the circumstances common to all Member States of the European Union but also the particular circumstances of individual Member States which are likely to influence the perception of the relevant public within those States (see judgment of 15 March 2018, La Mafia SE SIENTA A LA MESA, T‑1/17, EU:T:2018:146, paragraph 29 and the case-law cited).

19 In paragraph 24 of the contested decision, the Board of Appeal found that the goods and services covered by the mark applied for were aimed at a professional public and at the general public, whose level of attention would vary from low, in respect of everyday consumer goods, to high, in respect of very sophisticated goods or services. However, as stated in paragraphs 28 to 34 of the contested decision, it chose to assess, in the present case, the existence of the ground for refusal referred to in Article 7(1)(f) of Regulation 2017/1001 in relation to the Spanish public, on the ground that that was the public most familiar with the Colombian national called Pablo Escobar, born on 1 December 1949 and presumed to be a drug lord and narco-terrorist who founded and was the sole leader of the Medellín cartel (Colombia), on account of the privileged links, in particular historical links, between Spain and Colombia.

20 Those assessments, which, moreover, are not disputed by the parties, appear to be well founded and may be upheld, with the result that, in the present case, it is necessary to focus on the relevant Spanish public in order to assess, for the purposes of examining the present plea, the existence of the absolute ground for refusal referred to in Article 7(1)(f) of Regulation 2017/1001.

21 In paragraphs 46 to 54 of the contested decision, the Board of Appeal found that at least a non-negligible part of the relevant Spanish public would associate the mark applied for with Pablo Escobar, perceived as a symbol of a drug lord and a narco-terrorist.

22 In paragraphs 55 to 69 of the contested decision, it found that the mark applied for, understood in the manner referred to in paragraph 21 above, would be perceived as being contrary to public policy and to accepted principles of morality by the non-negligible part of the relevant Spanish public which would associate it with the crimes committed by the Medellín cartel or directly attributed to Pablo Escobar, which were unacceptable in modern democratic societies, as they were absolutely contrary to the recognised ethical and moral principles, not only in Spain but also in all EU Member States, and constituted one of the most serious threats to the fundamental interests of society and the maintenance of social peace and order. The mark applied for contradicts, for a non-negligible part of the general public exposed to it, the indivisible and universal values on which the European Union is founded, namely human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity, and the principles of democracy and the rule of law, as proclaimed in the Charter, and the right to life and physical integrity. Furthermore, for the many consumers of the goods and services at issue who, in particular in Spain, share those values, the mark applied for could be perceived as being highly offensive or shocking, as an apology of crime and a trivialisation of the suffering caused to thousands of people killed or injured by the Medellín cartel, of which Pablo Escobar was the presumed leader. That suffering is not erased by the actions in favour of the poor or the role of ‘Robin Hood’ which the applicant or many Colombians attribute to Pablo Escobar in Colombia, or by the fact that he has become an icon of popular culture in Spain.

23 Lastly, in paragraphs 70 to 78 of the contested decision, the Board of Appeal rejected the applicant’s arguments alleging that signs identical with, or similar to, the mark applied for had already been applied for or registered, as trade marks, by national offices or by EUIPO, observing that, in some of those decisions, the signs at issue had been refused registration on the ground that they were contrary to public policy and to accepted principles of morality, and that, in any event and according to the case-law, the Board of Appeal was not bound by those decisions and had to rule solely on the basis of Regulation 2017/1001.

24 However, the applicant complains that the Board of Appeal did not examine, in the contested decision, whether the majority of that public would perceive the mark applied for as being immoral. It should be borne in mind that, according to the case-law, the assessment of the existence of a ground for refusal under Article 7(1)(f) of Regulation 2017/1001 cannot be based either on the perception of the majority of the relevant public taken into account or on that of the parts of that public that does not find anything shocking or that may be very easily offended, but must be based on the standard of a reasonable person with average sensitivity and tolerance thresholds (see, to that effect, judgment of 15 March 2018, La Mafia SE SIENTA A LA MESA, T‑1/17, EU:T:2018:146, paragraph 26 and the case-law cited; see also, to that effect, judgment of 27 February 2020, Constantin Film Produktion v EUIPO, C‑240/18 P, EU:C:2020:118, paragraph 42).

25 In the contested decision, the Board of Appeal correctly referred, in the light of the case-law cited in paragraph 24 above, to the perception of the persons who, within the relevant Spanish public taken into account, could be regarded as reasonable and having average sensitivity and tolerance thresholds and who, as such, shared the indivisible and universal values on which the European Union is founded.

26 Accordingly, the applicant is not justified in claiming that the Board of Appeal misinterpreted or misapplied or applied Article 7(1)(f) of Regulation 2017/1001 too liberally, by not referring, in that regard, to the perception of the majority of the persons making up the relevant Spanish public taken into account.

27 Furthermore, in the contested decision, the Board of Appeal was justified in finding that the persons referred to in paragraph 25 above would associate the name of Pablo Escobar with drug trafficking and narco-terrorism and with the crimes and suffering resulting therefrom, rather than with his possible good deeds in favour of the poor in Colombia, and would therefore perceive the mark applied for, corresponding to that name, as running counter to the fundamental values and moral standards prevailing within Spanish society.

28 The fact, evidenced by the documents produced in the file by the applicant, that the names of Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone or Che Guevara have already been registered as EU trade marks, which have subsequently either expired or been cancelled, is not such as to call into question the assessments by which the Board of Appeal correctly interpreted and applied, in the present case, Article 7(1)(f) of Regulation 2017/1001, as interpreted by the case-law, by referring to the specific perception of the name Pablo Escobar by the persons referred to in paragraph 25 above.

29 In that regard, it should be noted that, according to the case-law, the decisions concerning the registration of a sign as an EU trade mark which EUIPO is led to take under Regulation 2017/1001 are adopted in the exercise of circumscribed powers and are not a matter of discretion. Accordingly, the legality of those decisions of the Boards of Appeal must be assessed solely on the basis of that regulation, as interpreted by the Courts of the European Union, and not on the basis of a previous decision-making practice (see, to that effect, judgment of 26 April 2007, Alcon v OHIM, C‑412/05 P, EU:C:2007:252, paragraph 65)>>. –> Il precedente non è vincolante: il giudice (l’Ufficio EUIPO) è soggetto solo alla legge

Un interessante caso di marchio decettivo

Trib. UE 29.11.2023, T-107/23, Myforest Foods c. EUIPO, conferma la ingnnevolezza del marchio denominativo MYBACON per sostituti della carne (cl. 29: ‘Fungi-based meat substitutes; meat substitutes; prepared meals consisting primarily of meat substitutes including fungi-based meat substitutes’)

Ce ne notizia Marcel Pemsel in IPKat.

Giustamente il T. ritiene irrilevante l’argomento per cui il pubblico, che sceglie questi cibi, è attento oltre la media e non si fa ingannare.

Infatti sono acquisti fatti di solito  in fretta e senza leggere i dettagli in etichetta; e comunque possono essere fatti anche da chi di solito non acquista cibi del genere, rientrando allora nel publico rilevante

Pemsel ricorda il nesso con la disciplina delle pratiche commerciali scorrette per ingannevolezza (da noi: art. 21 ss cod. cons.): concetto che non si discosta da quello della disciplina dei marchi de qua (art. 14.1.b cod. cons.).

Marcel coglie una differenza però , relativa ai materiali su cui ancorare il giudizio (le informazioni in etichetta non contano per i marchi, contano per la disciplina consumeristica).     Forse esatto, alla luce dell’ampiezza del concetto di “pratica commerciale” (da noi: art. 18.1.d) del cod. cons.). Solo che anche un  marchio in sè non ingannevole può diventare tale con l’uso (art. 21.2 c.p.i.): quindi la differenza potrebbe svanire.

Errato rigetto dell’EUIPO per contrarietà del marchio “put Putin in” all’ordine pubblico

Interessante segnalazione (di Marcel Pemsel su IPKat) del rigetto EUIPO  23 agosto 2023 , domanda 018843822, di marchio denominativo “Put Putin in” (mettete dentro Putin) per abbigliamento (pag. web del fascicolo e v. link diretto alla decisione).

Ecco il passaggio cruciale:
<<La comunità commerciale percepirebbe il cartello “Putin In” come contrario alla moralità pubblica, in quanto cerca di capitalizzare un evento ampiamente
percepito come tragico, ovvero l’invasione dell’Ucraina da parte della Russia.
Le implicazioni della guerra in Ucraina per l’UE si estendono all’inflazione, alle
importazioni di gas naturale liquefatto (GNL) (con ripercussioni sull’energia e sui
trasporti), all’aumento della spesa per la difesa, ai flussi di rifugiati dall’Ucraina
verso l’Europa, alla carenza di materie prime e agli impatti negativi sui Paesi
emergenti e in via di sviluppo. Inoltre, è ampiamente riconosciuto che la guerra
ha causato la morte di migliaia di soldati e migliaia di vittime civili.
Il marchio viola i principi morali accettati in quanto sfrutta una tragedia a fini
commerciali, ossia l’intenzione di trarre profitto da un evento tragico, anche se i
consumatori possono percepire il segno come positivo, cioè rinchiudere Putin (in prigione).
Pertanto, il segno non può essere registrato ai sensi dell’articolo 7, paragrafo 1,
lettera f), del regolamento sul marchio UE>>. (orig. svedese, Deepl traduzione)

Il messaggio non è contrario all’ordine pubblico perchè non pare capitalizzare/sfruttare l’ evento tragico dell’aggressione russa, ma piuttosto esprimere un’opinione su tema importante , anche se usando il veicolo della attività economica.

Concordo quindi con le perplessità di Pemsel.

Modifiche al codice di proprietà industriale

la legge 102 del 24.07.2023 (GU 184 del 8 agosto 2023) apporta alcune modifiche al c.p.i.

Le più importati sono nei primi tre articoli: art. 1 Divieto di registrazione di marchi evocativi di indicazioni geografiche e denominazioni di origine protetta;  art. 2 Protezione temporanea dei disegni e dei modelli nelle fiere;  art. 3 Titolarita’ delle invenzioni realizzate nell’ambito di universita’ ed enti di ricerca.

In particolare andrà approfondito il caso sub 1, dovendolo distinguere sia da quello delle segg. lettere c) e c-bis) sia dalla tutela delle denominazioni ex reg. 1151/2012, spt. art. 13 (del cui § 3 potrebbe essere ritenuta attuazione)

Cuiriso è la nuolva disciplina del calcolo dei termini di durata, art. 20: pare non coincuidere con quella civilprocessuale , ad es. , se si tiene conto della’rt. 155 cpc.

Decettività e non distintività della mucca rovesciata (inverted cow)

Anna Maria Stein su IPKat dà notizia di interessante decisione EUIPO 08.05.2023, marchio inter. reg. 1600229, ref. dell’istante 35/RM20K01/EM.

Si tratta di marchio costituito da immagine di mucca rovesciata per prodotti alimentari etc. come sostituti della carne etc..

L’idea commerciale -parrebbe- era quella di indicare l’assenza di carne marcandoli tramite l’immagine di una mucca rovesciata anzichè diritta.

Ma le cose vanno doppiamente male: da un lato è ingannatoria perchè l’utente continua a pensare invece alla presenza (non all’assenza) di carne; dall’altro, è comunque descrittivo.

I giudizio sulla decettità non sono frequenti.

Quindi domanda rigettata


Quattro casi di marchi UE contrari all’ordine pubblico

Jerome Tassi  ricorda quattro casi di marchi contrari all’ordine pubblico (art. 7.1.f reg. n. 1001 de 2017):

  • Protein Mafia
  • Cosa Nostra (ricordando la sentenza 15.03.2018, T-1/17 “la Mafia se sienta a la mesa”)
  • Dito medio
  • la “Z” dell’esercito russo

Marchi contrari all’ordine pubblico e al buon costume: utile rassegna pubblicata dall’Unione Europea

Il 27 febbraio 2023 l’UE (  ) fa fatto uscir la Second consultation on CP14 Common Practice ‘Trade marks contrary to public policy or to accepted principles of morality’  .

V. a metà pagina il link a due file word, che qui ripeto:

Rassegna ampia ed utile


Il marchio denominativo FUCKING AWESOME per abbigliamento sportivo è confermato privo di distintività (anche se non contrario a buon costume)

Così Trib. UE 15.03.2023 , T-178/22, FA World Entertainment Inc. c. EUIPO .

Annullata invece dall’appello amministrativo (e non portata in sede giurisdizionale) la inziale decisione di contrarietà a ordine pubblico e/o buon costume

Due report di case law dell’EUIPO sui segni distintivi: i) contrarietà a ordine pubblico e morale; ii) slogan

qui la pagina EUIPO 31 marzo 2022 con la notizia ;

iovi i due link ai due pdf :

i) OP e morale ;

ii) slogan .



Marchio “covidiot” contrario all’ordine pubblico? Vedremo

Il marchio

per computer gaming e simili è registrabile oppure è contrario al’ordine pubblico ex art. 7.1.f reg. 2017/1001?

Il primo grado EUIPO ha optato per la seconda.

Potrebbe dire lo stesso l’appello amministrativo Board of Appeal, Interim decision 16.12.2021, Case R 260/2021-1 , Zirnsack c. EUIPO.

Così osserva: << In the Board’s view, the trade mark applied for could be refused as contrary to accepted principles of morality pursuant to Article 7(1)(f) EUTMR, because the trade mark contains the word ‘Covidiot’, which refers to a person or group of people in a derogatory manner in connection with ‘COVID’. There is also the possibility that it is contrary to accepted principles of morality if the name of the virus can be trivialised as the name for a game. Finally, in the Boardʼs opinion, an 16/12/2021, R 260/20211, COVIDIOT (fig.) examination can be made as to whether the trade mark is contrary to accepted principles of morality because the applicant wishes, through freeriding, to make an undue profit from the pandemic. >>, § 20.

Solleva anche dubbio di compatibilità con l’art. 7.1.b (distinvitità e con l’art. 7.1.c  per descrititvità.

Infine  esamina l’eccezione del registrante per cui il rigetto violerebbe il diritto di parola o espressione.

Data la complessità delle questioni, non decide e rimette al Grand Board: vedremo come deciderà l’ineressante caso.