Boards of Appeal refuses FUCKING FREEZING

Another case that kept the Boards of Appeal busy with the evaluation of the accepted principles of morality.

In January 2010, Mr Thomas Türpitz had filed an application for the Community Trademark


For goods in leather or imitation of leather, accessories and clothes in Classes 18 and 25.

The OHIM had refused the application with respect to all the goods applied for, pursuant to Article 7(1)(f) CTMR, since, in the opinion of the Examiner, the sign was “contrary to public policy or to the accepted the principle of morality”.

Mr Türpitz appealed the decision objecting that Article 7(1)(f) CTMR is not intended to impede the registration of a sign on the grounds that this sign is merely felt to be of bad taste, or is particularly suggestive.

If it is true that ‘fucking’ is a vulgar term meaning “having sexual intercourse”, it must be considered that the combination with “freezing” creates a totally different expression, meaning “extremely cold” - and it loses any amoral or offensive nature.

The term ‘fucking’, according to Mr Türpitz is a common way of intensifying an adjective, replacing the adverbs ‘very’ or ‘particularly’.

Lastly, the applicant claimed that “Fucking Freezing” is certainly not contrary to any basic principles of public policy.

The Board of Appeal did not agree, and considered that “Fucking Freezing” has in fact a vulgar and offensive meaning, and it is therefore “contrary to public policy and accepted principles of moral” (case R 168/2011-1).

The Board recognized that the concept of “accepted principles of morality” is dynamic and that it constantly changes: many words or actions that were contrary to acceptable principles of morality in the past, are considered morally acceptable today.

It is difficult to answer to the question whether the language and the morality adapt to the society or the society adapts to the language and to the principles of morality.

However, in the opinion of the Boards, such adaptation and changes do not have to be promoted by trade mark laws.

The decision of the OHIM has been upheld and the registration refused pursuant to Article 7(1)(f) CTMR.

Posted by: Benedetta Cordovado @ 15.42
Tags: OHIM Boards of Appeal; Refusal; sign contrary to public policy and principles of morality,
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