Printer Friendly

Benetton case spurs ECJ clothes shape trademark precedent.

CLOTHING companies cannot trademark design shapes after advertising campaigns highlighted particular products, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled. In a case between Benetton and Dutch clothing company G-Star International BV, judges ruled such protection is excluded under European Union (EU) directive 89/104/EEC on trademarks. G-Star had tried to prevent Benetton making or distributing trousers in the Netherlands, which it said broke trademark rights claimed under Benelux law for the design of its Elwood trousers. The Dutch firm claimed its Italian rival had broken those rights by incorporating an oval kneepad and two lines of sloping stitching from hip height to crotch height into its designs. Benetton demurred and the case was ultimately referred to the Netherlands' supreme court, which referred proceedings to the ECJ. It has ruled: "... the shape of a product which gives substantial value to that product cannot constitute a trade mark ... where ... it acquired ... recognition as a distinctive sign following advertising campaigns ..."
COPYRIGHT 2009: A global news agency serving specialist publications with global articles. See
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Nuthall, Keith
Publication:International News
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Previous Article:WTO establishes China counterfeiting disputes panel.
Next Article:MEPs call for country-of-origin labelling on all EU clothing and footwear imports.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters