Rockin’ Trademark Application – Bang & Olufsen’s Loudspeaker

  • 2021348Rockin’ Trademark Application: EU Trade Mark Application No. 003354371
  • Filing date: 17 September 2003
  • In the name of: Bang & Olufsen A/S
  • Goods and Services: Electric and electronic apparatus and appliances for analogue, digital or optical reception, processing, reproduction, regulation or distribution of sound signals, loudspeakers; music furniture
  • Why this trademark application rocks:
    • Bang & Olufsen applied to register what appears to be one of their most iconic speaker shapes – that of the Beolab 8002 speaker – as an EU trademark.
    • If successfully registered, this would have meant that someone producing speakers using the same shape, or a similar shape, without Bang & Olufsen’s permission, would have been at risk of trademark infringement. The application also sought protection for the mark for use on “music furniture”.
  • Why this trademark application was refused: 
    • In order for a shape to satisfy the requirements for trademark registration, it must be deemed not to give substantial value to the goods concerned.
    • It was decided, on appeal, that the mark applied for did add substantial value to the speakers and so the registration was not allowed.

Post by Alex Crick, Patent Scientist, and Sharon Daboul, Trademark Attorney, EIP


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