Finland: NEW WAVE not descriptive for goods in class 25
In May 2009 the Board of Appeal of the Finnish Patent Office had to make a decision about the distinctiveness of the word mark NEW WAVE regarding the goods in class 25 (Case No. 2006/T/123). Previously, the National Board of Patents and Registration (NBPR) had rejected the application on the ground that the expression “new wave” was broadly used to describe something new and different from the traditional and therefore the mark was only describing the kind, quality and use of the goods concerned.

The holder of the mark appealed and the Board of Appeal reversed the decision of NBPR. In its reasoning the Board stated that although the word “new” referred to the quality of the goods, the word “wave” was not understood by the average consumer or at least it was not used for describing the goods in question. Furthermore, the Board explained that the expression “new wave” was commonly used for example in music, art and politics but it did not have any specific and general meaning relating to clothing and footwear industries. Thus, in relation to clothing and footwear the mark was vague and suggestive and therefore distinctive.

Posted by: Johanna Kauhanen @ 11.26
Tags: Finland, registrability, distinctive character,

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