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ARE SLOGANS REALLY ELIGIBLE TO REGISTRATION UNDER THE EU SYSTEM?

Recent community decisions show a strict position as regards the eligibility of a slogan to registration as a trademark under the EU system

Applications for NOW EVERYONE CAN FLY in class 36 for air travel services; PAY BY TOUCH for electronic payment services, or THE DIFFERENCE IS PERFECTION, IT’S A DIFFERENCE YOU CAN SEE for jewels have all be rejected by OHIM.

The Office considered that those signs are not capable of distinguishing the goods or services mostly because they consist in a normal sequence of words with a normal grammar and syntax.

Moreover, once and if finally accepted by the OHIM, the protection of slogans is reduced to identical or almost reproduction of the mark. We can wonder whether this so strict position is really justified as, in most national European practice, slogans are granted a higher degree of protection, and because a combination of words can be capable, in our mind, of identifying the goods and services applied for even if it is a current grammatically sequence.

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