General Court rejects marks representing solar panels

In cases T‑578/15 and Case T‑614/15, Azur Space Solar Power GmbH applied for the two marks below

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for the following goods

–        Class 7: ‘Electronic generators using solar cells’;

–        Class 9: ‘Semiconductors, semiconductor devices, semiconductor devices for solar cells and solar modules, solar cells, solar cells made of III-V material, solar cells having a plurality of band gaps; solar cell modules, solar cell modules with an array of solar cells’.

The EUIPO rejected the marks on the basis that they would be perceived by the relevant specialist public as a very simple schematic representation of the structure or of an array of solar panels. In the Board of Appeal’s view, the fact that that representation is one mere variant of a wider variety of structural possibilities is irrelevant since it will be perceived as no more than an extremely simplified representation of the structure of the solar panel array itself. Thus the applied for marks are devoid of any distinctive character.

The General Court dismissed the appeals and confirmed that the marks which simply consists of six sloping white lines and three rectangular white bricks on a black background or black lines and bricks without any background, do not have any element which is memorable or capable of endowing it with distinctive character. On account of the overall simplicity of the marks, which overall simplicity the applicant itself, moreover, points out in its application, the marks will not make it possible to identify the applied for goods as coming from a particular undertaking and thus to distinguish them from those which come from other undertakings.

Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 20.16
Tags: general court, absolute grounds, solar panels,
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