Südtirol cannot be a trademark in EU

1253940660The General Court ruled in Case T- 11/15 and upheld the EUIPO’s decision for invalidation of EU trademark Suedtirol registered by Internet Consulting GmbH in 2002 for:

– Class 35: ‘Business management, business administration, office functions’;

– Class 39: ‘Packaging and storage of goods “;

– Class 42: ‘Scientific and technological services and research and design services relating thereto; analytical services and industrial research; design and development of computer hardware and software; legal services “.

In 2012, the Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano-Alto Adige filed for a declaration of invalidity with an argument for a conflict with geographical indication Trentino-Alto Adige / South Tyrol.

According to the Court such conflict exists because of:

  • the word Südtirol is well-known among German and Italian consumers, moreover this is an independent region recognized by the Italian Constitution.
  • the services applied for have no characteristics which to distinguish them from the geographical indication.
  • there are many companies in this region which use Südtirol in their names.
  • this region is famous with its quality goods and services.

Taking into account all the above, the General Court considered that this mark was registered contrary to Article 7 (1) c) of the EUTMR and must be keep free for all.

Source: Marques Class 46.