In 2006 National Board of Patents and Registration (NBPR) rejected the international registration of mark CLASEN in Finland as the word was a surname in use and there was a risk that the public might confuse the mark with another´s protected name. The word CLASEN was not incorporated in the trade name of the applicant (Lucia AG) and it didn´t have any other connection with the name.
Lucia AG appealed to the Board of Appeal of the National Board of Patents and Registration and claimed that the registration should have been granted because, according to the population register, fewer than five people were using the surname Clasen in Finland. Additionally, the appellant claimed that it was highly unlikely that the Finns would perceive the word as a surname. However, in decision No 2006/T/075 (December 12, 2008) the Board upheld the earlier decision and repeated the reasoning of NBPR that, even though the name Clasen was rare in Finland, consumers would still perceive the word as a surname.