17 January 2022
The most commonly used trade marks consist of words and figurative signs, yet these signs are not the only signs that are eligible for trade mark protection through registration. The scope of trade mark protection has broadened over the years, with the result that trade mark registration is in principle open to any type of sign, including non-traditional signs such as three-dimensional shapes, colors and sounds.
Due to the amendments resulting in the European Trademark Regulation (EUTMR), the trade mark system became more aligned to the practice of registering signs consisting of three-dimensional shapes. However, the amendments also included an alteration of the absolute grounds of refusal. It is said that with these modifications an extra hurdle for registration of these type of signs would be created.
In the article ‘Reshaping the framework’ written for the Stockholm IP Law Review, Nicky Willemsen discusses the impact of the EUTMR on the eligibility of non-traditional signs for trade mark registration.