Hasbro registered the MONOPOLY trademark three times in the European Union with slightly different goods & services. The existing registrations have been consistently renewed. EUIPO’s board of Appeal has now decided that this is to be considered as bad faith. A repeated filing, claiming protection for some additional items, is not intended to circumvent the obligation of use. Hasbro didn’t give any explanation why it was essential to repeated file the marks and to renew them. For the items are the same or similar, the applied trademark has to be considered as bad faith and the items are therefore removed.
This is painful, as trademark holders can no longer rely on a repeated filing in order to circumvent the obligation of use. Very disappointing for the pharma sector, in which product development (or clinical study) often takes over five years.