Swiss trade mark practice against PRO
The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upheld in two recent decisions the refusal of the Swiss IPO to register the signs "Proled (fig.)" and PROSERIES. The IPO argued that the relevant consumers would understand "pro" as "professional", indicating a quality of the products, and the signs therefore would lack distinctiveness.

"Proled (fig.)" claimed protection for cables, lights and lamps. The court held that the relevant consumers would understand the sign as "professional light emitting diodes"; it was therefore descriptive. The styling of the logotype was not sufficiently original to confer distinctiveness.

After this decision, it comes as no surprise that PROSERIES was also considered to be descriptive for hair and beauty care products. The consumers would understand it as "professional series", and therefore as an indication of quality rather than source. The applicant argued to no avail that PROGLIDE had been registered for essentially the same products without objection; the IPO had indicated that it changed its practice, and the applicant had therefore no claim to be treated equally incorrectly as the applicant of the older mark.

So, it went all against pro, I guess.

By God, that was a lame pun. German summaries of the two decisions here (PROSERIES) and here (Proled).

Posted by: Mark Schweizer @ 17.01
Tags: Switzerland, absolute grounds for refusal,
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