“Doublemint” Cannot Be Registered As a Trademark

December 2003

Artists, Merchandising

European Court of Justice C-191/01
The European Court of Justice has upheld the decision of the EU’s Office of Harmonisation of the Internal Market that the brand name ‘double mint’ could not be registered as a trade mark as it was not a mere brand name but a description of a product. Such descriptive words and phrases cannot be registered as they are to be kept free for use for everyone else. A wordmark with several different descriptive meanings is not registrable. Wrigley, who manufacture the chewing gum had won on appeal at the European Court of Fist Instance who accepted that the use of the two words together deprived the phrase of any descriptive function but the ECJ overturned this decision saying that the name is one which other chewing gum manufacturers might legitimately want to use.
ECJ C-191/01 23 October 2003

See: http://www.ip-firm.de/index.htm

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