3D shapes: a trade mark hit or a flop?

Posted by Jane on September 15, 2017 / Posted in Trade Marks
While many people are aware of the most common forms of a registered trade mark, which are a word, phrase or logo, it is relatively unknown that trade marks can expand further.
Not only are two dimensional shapes and logos clear for registration but also 3D trade marks also have been accepted as suitable trade marks by the UK Intellectual Property Office.

There are also more common than you may think. When reaching for your favourite Coca Cola branded product from your local shop, you are in fact picking up a registered three dimensional mark. The Coca-Cola bottle which is unique in its shape and design was successfully registered as a trade mark in its 3D form.

However, as recent cases have highlighted, while a 3D mark can be registered, it is very difficult for the shape to be deemed distinctive which is a requirement of trade mark registration.

Nestle recently had a long continuing battle in which they were unsuccessful when trying to register the 3D shape of their ‘KitKat’ confectionary bar as a trade mark, with the court failing to see it as anything but non-distinctive and only the shape needed for it to fulfil its technical function.

Following the KitKat saga, the legitimacy of 3D trade marks has been much discussed in the EU, with existing 3D marks coming under scrutiny

it has not be confirmed that 3D marks can no longer be registered but be aware that you need to be prepared to show that your shape is distinctive.

If you would more information on registering unconventional marks, contact The Trademarkroom team today.

By Ellis Sweetenham

Jane Coyle
This entry was posted on September 15, 2017 and is filed under Trade Marks. You can follow our blog through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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