Trade marks cannot be devoid of any distinctive character

According to Article 7 (1) (b) of the European Trade Mark Regulation, applications for European trade marks that are devoid of any distinctive character shall not be registered.


For any of the goods or services in question

In making the above assessment, one needs to assess the goods or services for which the trade mark is applied for or being used.

Where registration of a European trade mark or the protection in the European Community of an international registration has been sought in respect of all goods falling within a category without distinguishing between those goods, the fact that the mark in question is devoid of any distinctive character solely in relation to certain goods falling within that category does not preclude a finding that the mark in question lacks distinctive character in relation to all the goods in that category.

Reference cases:

  • Case T-359/99 DKV v OHIM (EuroHealth) [2001] ECR II‑1645, paragraph 33;
  • Case T-304/06 Reber v OHIM – Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli (Mozart) [2008] ECR II-0000, paragraph 92)