INDUSTRIES, FASHION | The General Court on the registration of shape marks

Newsletter n. 89 – October 2023



The General Court on the registration of shape marks

On 26 July 2023, the EU General Court handed down its decision in case T-591/21 (Apart sp. z o.o. v EUIPO) concerning the registrability of the shape of a teddy bear as an EU trademark. The applicant filed for the declaration of the invalidity of the figurative trademark, alleging its lack of distinctiveness and the fact that it consists exclusively of a shape that gives substantial value to the goods. The decision held that the figurative mark could be interpreted as representing the shape of a teddy bear but also as a fantasy figure and that, moreover, the goods covered by the contested mark represent items of jewellery which generally take the form of rings, necklaces or earrings and which are likely to bear the sign of which that mark consists, but not to take the shape thereof. Therefore, the General Court turned down the applicant’s requests, reasoning that the disputed figurative trademark comprises a sign that is not related to the visual aspect of the goods it covers and does not exclusively consist of the outline of those products.