Shape of a Flash Light - Mag's shapemark

Mag Instruments, manufacturer of the famous flash lights, registered the shape of the Mini Maglite as a trademark in the registers of the Benelux and the European Union. The flash light is a very big success (50% market share).  

Trading Volume from China imported flash lights that were quite similar to Mag Intruments products. According to Mag Instruments too similar and thus Mag Instruments started a lawsuit. The procedure was based on its shape marks.
There has been much discussion on the validity of shape marks in the past. The court simply states that Mag’s shapemarks are valid trademarks. The intensive use of the established brands has enabled them to acquire the required distinctiveness.
However, this was not the end the case. The question is whether the forms of both products are so similar, that the overall impression is the same. That was not the case. The main visual elements are the distinctive shape of the reflector, the cap and grip pattern on the handle.  These key elements were different in Trading Volume’s products, and therefore there was no infringement.


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