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General Court: MeetMe rejected on absolute grounds

In Case T-190/15, Intervog  filed for the following CTM

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for the following goods and services in Class 9: 'Computer software and computer programs; application software for mobile phones and the Internet; Software used as an application programming interface (API) for software facilitating online services for social networking, the development of social networking applications; downloadable software in the form of mobile applications for viewing and sharing geographic position of a user and to search and locate other users and sites and interact with them "; Class 38: "Providing access to a global computer network; providing access to databases; Internet communications network; providing access to electronic databases, and online computer, telecommunication services, namely electronic transmission of data, messages and information; providing online communications forums on topics of general interest; facilitating access to third party websites via a universal login; providing discussion forums and electronic bulletin boards online; providing an online network service that enables users to transfer personal identity data and share personal identity data with and on several websites; providing access to computer databases in the fields of social networking "; Class 45: 'Personal and social services assistance to individuals intended to constitute, manage and expand their own social network."

OHIM and the General Court rejected the mark on the grounds that it lacks distinctive character according to 7 (1) b) CTMR.

In this case, the message conveyed by the mark is simple, banal promotional message, so that the relevant public would not be likely to perceive, over and beyond the promotional information that the goods and services in question facilitated the meeting between consumers through IT tools, any indication of the commercial origin of those goods and services.

The other elements of the mark, namely the blue sky, chosen calligraphy, the inversion of the letter "e" in the heart of the sign or lack of space between the word elements were not sufficient to confer distinctive character of the sign. Indeed, those characteristics were not likely to give it an original character or to initiate in the relevant public in a cognitive process or an effort of interpretation or an effort of reflection that would make this brand, in the perception of the relevant public, other than a mere promotional formula highlighting the qualities of products and services in question. 

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 18.27
Tags: Meet me, General court, absolute grounds,
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