Descriptive trademarks - Schwarzkopf MEN PERFECT

In 2006 Henkel applied for trademark protection for her logo MEN PERFECT. Competitor Dramers later files for trademark protection of the word MAN’s PERFECT in the Benelux and internationally. Henkel claimed that these applications should be cancelled because of the descriptive nature of the trademark.

The High Court agrees with Henkel. After all MAN’S PERFECT clearly indicates that the product is perfect for a man, or that man is perfect. In both cases it describes either the product itself or its end result.

The High Court does not see any reason to cancel Henkel’s trademark. This trademark does contain descriptive elements, namely the words, but it also contains non-descriptive elements. These compensate the descriptiveness of the words. Although a wordmark generally gives a better protection, visual elements and logos may be very important.


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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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