WEDNESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2010
Switzerland: DeeCee Style is not prohibited use of CEE symbol
The Swiss IPO refused the application for the depicted figurative mark "DeeCee Style" on the basis that it contained the protected abbreviation CEE of the Communauté économique européenne (French for European Economic Community). This is particularly bizarre because the EEC changed its name to European Community with the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 and ceased to exist as a legal entity with the creation of the European Union by the Lisbon Treaty 2009, but this seems to have escaped the usually vigilant eyes of the Swiss IPO.
In any case, the Federal Administrative Court reversed and allowed the registration of the mark on the grounds that CEE ceased to be perceived as an inpendent element and was "embedded" in the mark. DeeCee would be pronounced English and perceived by the relevant consumers, like "D.C." in "Washington D.C.", as a unitary element. The large cap "C" and
small caps "e" would also work against the perception of the "Cee"
element as abbreviation.
I have criticized the Federal Supreme Court's overly strict practice with regards to the registration of protected symbols in an article of February 2010, for those interested in this thrilling topic and reading German, it can be found here.
The decision by the Federal Administrative Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court by the IPO.
Posted by: Mark Schweizer @ 14.59