On 17 April 2018, the EU General Court issued a judgment confirming the stance of the EUIPO, according to which the "House of Cars" name is devoid of any distinctive character. The company was to handle broadly-understood vehicle auction sales.
The General Court stated that the trademark applied for has direct relation to the respective services of the enterprise, which makes it devoid of distinctive character, and thus the sign cannot be registered.
When advising clients and having doubts about the registrability of a trademark, patent attorneys often check how similar cases look. The assessment of the registrability, including the absolute obstacles to registration arising out of the previous decisions of the EUIPO, is no longer certain in the light of the judgment under consideration. It turns out that what appears to entrepreneurs to be their creative inventiveness (in addition, recognized by the EUIPO in similar cases before), is not always the case.
Patent attorney Katarzyna Kwestarz
comments on the judgment in Puls Biznesu of 11 May 2018.