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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TUESDAY, 4 FEBRUARY 2014
Greece does not like "greece" (for trademarks)
One of the changes the young (2012) new Greek TM law brought about and this blogger failed to promptly notice is that trade mark applications, which include names of states cannot be registered. In accordance with this rule, the Greek TM Office routinely rejects trade marks which include the terms "greece" and/or "hellas" regardless of their actual influence in the overall impression of the mark. This must have caused several bursts of irritation among unsuspected filers, who thought they should include a touch of national pride in their trade mark applications or even include their trade name which, as it so often happens, incorporates Greece or Hellas. Truth be told, the Greek Registry has a good share of registered trade marks incorporating the terms Greece and/or Hellas.
This was probably on the mind of the applicant of the trademark depicted left "WONDERFUL GREECE" in Classes 18,21,24,25,26,35,38,39,41,42,43. Interestingly, although the particular mark is indeed seminar material for absolute grounds of refusal, the Examiner chose to reject it over use of "GREECE" rather over use of the Greek flag ( a classic 6ter Paris ground for refusal) or even the lack of a single distinctive element. On the other hand the mark "GRECA ΓΚΡΕΚΑ" for magazines in Class 16 passed the test and has been published. One may wonder whether this change is in line with the spirit of the Paris Convnention. Moreover, and most importantly, whether it sits uncomfortably with the CTM Regulation, which does not appear to include such a prohibition.
Posted by: Nikos Prentoulis @ 07.01
Greece, Greek TM Office, absolute grounds for refusal, names of states, 6ter Paris,
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