End of Crocs model protection

The outer appearance of a product can be claimed with a registered design. There are two requirements for this. The design must be novel and have an individual character. The requirement of novelty often forms a problem. At the product launch, it is not immediately clear whether the product will become a success. That is why in the EU one can still apply for a registered design for up to 12 months after the first publication, but this is a very tough deadline.

Crocs filed for a design registration in the EU for its plastic shoe in 2004. The French company Gifi Diffusion initiated a nullity procedure against this, because the product had already been on the market for two years in the USA by then. The product was promoted through a website in 2002, was a big success at a major international boat show in Florida in 2002 and had been for sale in almost all of the United States. Consequence: it is plausible that shoe manufacturers from the EU have seen this plastic shoe before. The design rights are therefore canceled. Crocs can no longer invoke these.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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