The Finnish trade mark front has been quiet for a while, on a summer extension of sorts. However, I did come across a year old case that, despite being rather unexciting, does relate to an earlier post on the “Yellow Pages”. Once again, this case was not reported until recently.
In 2004, the National Board of Patents and Registration (NBPR) had partly rejected Oy Eniro Ab’s application for the registration of the mark VALKOISET SIVUT (translation: WHITE PAGES) in classes 16, 35, 38 and 42. The rejection applied to “printed matter” in class 16 and “leasing of access time to a computer database” in class 42.
In the NBPR’s opinion the term “valkoiset sivut” is commonly used in the telecommunication field and refers to certain kind of directory pages. The distinctiveness through establishment argument failed as well, as the material provided did not sufficiently support it.
(By a way of comparison - finding of establishment was supported in the earlier reported case where the use of the mark “Yellow Pages” had in some localities begun as early as in the 1960’s.)
Both the Board of Appeals of the NBPR and the Supreme Administrative Court in its decision of August 26, 2008 (2247/3/07) rejected Eniro’s appeals and maintained NBPR’s decision.