The revival of the shape-mark

There are more possible trademarks than just a logo or a word. Other characteristics also have the ability to distinguish one vendor’s offering from another one’s. A shape, sound, motion picture sequence or a pattern. However in practice it can prove difficult to get these kinds of marks registered. The authorities often assume that the consumer does not perceive these as a trademark, the shape is seen as commonplace. However it looks like this might change in the near future.

For example, Bacardi succeeded in registering its bottle with red wax-seal, white cap and banner logo as a trademark (without Bacardi written on it). The cap, the seal and the shield are no longer seen as purely decorative and the combination is enough to distinguish the bottle from other vendors’ bottles. A request for an amphora shaped bottle also made it to registration, by virtue of the narrowing part in the middle. These rulings seem to usher in a new policy. Enough reason for companies to give it another try and claim special shapes or designs as a trademark. The consumer has perceived them as trademarks for years, possibly the trademark authorities will now do so too.


Latest news
Ban on wave shaped shoe display
Ion Maiden becomes Ion Fury
Fack Ju Göthe – Public policy and accepted principles of morality
Repeated filing MONOPOLY in bad faith
Cheaper brand protection in Brazil


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?
Follow Abcor