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Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

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THURSDAY, 11 APRIL 2013
Carbon Green in General Court

In case T-294/10, CBp Carbon Industries, Inc applied for the registration of CARBON GREEN for goods in Class 17, namely ‘Reclaimed rubber, namely recycled carbonaceous materials, namely, plastic, elastomeric, or rubber filled materials obtained from pyrolized tyre char and plastic, elastomeric, or rubber compounds formulated using such filler material’.

The OHIM rejected the application on the grounds of Article 7 (1) (b) and (c) CTMR. The General Court dismissed the Applicant’s appeal, finding that the sign at issue is made up of standard words which are not capable of indicating the trade origin of the mark to the relevant public.

In the light of the technical nature of the goods concerned, the relevant public consists of specialised English-speaking consumers.

The individual words ‘carbon’ and ‘green’ as well as the sign CARBON GREEN as a whole are descriptive of the goods in question.

In particular carbon is a widespread chemical element present in different forms in numerous goods, in this case it is part of the actual description of the goods which states specifically that they consist of ‘carbonaceous materials’ or ‘materials obtained from … char’. Furthermore, a specialised public familiar with the relevant industrial and engineering context is able to identify the goods in which the presence of carbon – to a greater or lesser degree – denotes a particular characteristic.

As for the word ‘green’, the parties agree that it denotes ecological benefits. However, it is apparent from the actual description of the goods concerned, which refers to ‘reclaimed’ and ‘recycled’ goods, that a feature of the goods is that they contribute to maintaining ecological balance.

Although the combination of the words ‘carbon’ and ‘green’ may appear paradoxical, it corresponds precisely to the description of the characteristics of the goods which, although composed of a chemical element associated with detrimental effects on the environment, are developed from reclaimed and recycled materials.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 22.47
Tags: General court, absolute grounds, carbon, green,
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