TRADEMARKS | The EUIPO on the distinctiveness of position trademarks

On 26 April 2024, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) refused fashion company Loro Piana’s application to register a position trademark in the footwear sector (the “Position Trademark”). The Position Trademark, which consisted in a band with a knot and ribbons adorned with metal pendants applied on shoe uppers, was deemed by the EUIPO to lack distinctiveness. The EUIPO argued that it is a highly common practice to apply decorative elements such as knots and ribbons on shoe uppers in the fashion industry and that the sign would fail to be considered as an indicator of origin. As a general rule, the EUIPO stated that position trademarks should stand out amidst common design practices and have a distinctive character (not just a decorative one).

Newsletter n. 97 – June 2024