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EU General Court rules over CRIADORES trade mark

Post Time:2024-06-03 Source:ec.europa.eu Author: Views:

On 8 May, in caseT-314/23, the General Court of the European Union had to decide whether the sign 'CRIADORES' meets the requirements of distinctiveness and non-distinctive character laid down in the EUTMR for its registration as a trade mark in the European Union.

In January 2020, a Spanish-based company, Tiendanimal Comercio Electrónico de Artículos para Mascotas, filed an application with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for registration of the figurative mark 'CRIADORES' as an EU trade mark (N.018186334) covering, in particular, dietary and nutritional supplements for animals and foodstuffs and beverages for animals falling within Classes 5 and 31 of the Nice Classification.

Both the first instance examiner and the EUIPO Board of Appeal rejected the application on the basis of Article 7(1)(b) and (c) and Article 7(2) of the EUTMR. They considered that the mark applied for was descriptive of the quality of the goods to which it referred for the relevant public and that it lacked distinctiveness: the word “criadores” refers to a person who is in charge of, or whose job it is to breed horses, dogs, chickens, etc, therefore being directly connected to the actual goods and services for which the trade mark was sought. In this case, the relevant public was considered to be the Spanish public, since the word 'criadores' comes from the Spanish language: while the word has no meaning in other European languages (and would not be understood by non-Spanish speakers), it is enough that a sign be descriptive or non-distinctive for part of the EU population to be refused registration. The Spanish company appealed to the General Court of the European Union., which upheld the decision of the EUIPO to reject the registration of the mark "CRIADORES" on the grounds that it was indeed descriptive and lacked distinctiveness.

The Court pointed out that the trade mark refers to people who breed animals, which is closely linked to the products covered by the mark, animal food and supplements. This direct relationship between the mark and the goods means that consumers would immediately perceive a description of the characteristics of the goods without any need for further reflection, meaning that the sign was indeed descriptive as understood under Article 7(1)(c).The Court found that the combination of the verbal element 'criadores' and the graphic representation of a crown above the word did not alter the descriptive character of the mark in relation to the goods designated.