The German Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht) recently had to decide on the registrability of the trade mark Speicherstadt, in English "city of warehouses"; case reference 24 W (pat) 76/08 of 4 May 2010.
The Speicherstadt is a well-known tourist attraction located in the city of Hamburg. An English translation of the headnote of the Federal Patent Court's decision is set out below:
The term "Speicherstadt" will self-evidently be assoicated with the Speicherstadt near the Hamburg Harbour, one of the best known sights of this city.
With regard to the appreciation and the postive sentiments that consumers demonstrate with regard to this tourist attraction, the term would be considered as descriptive in the sense of Article 8 (2) No. 2 MarkenG [German Trade Mark Act) and - insofar as there is no close descriptive connection to goods and services - would also not be considered as a distinctive indicator of trade origin (Article 8 (2) No. 1 MarkenG)