The General Court of the European Union has ruled in the case T-611/17 All Star (Converse) v EUIPO – Carrefour Hypermarchés. The case concerns the following already registered figurative European trademark for classes 17, 25,35:
Against this mark, an application for a declaration of invalidity was filed by the French company Carrefour based on Article 52(1)(a) EUTMR and Article 7(1)(b) and (e)(ii) and (iii) EUTMR.
EUIPO invalidated the trademark at hand concluding that it is not possible for consumers to perceive it as a sign for trade origin. According to the Office, the practice of using simple geometric shapes for soles are widespread, as can be seen for many examples:
Consumers will look on them as something that will help them to walk easily, comfortably or securely but not as a sign for trade origin.
Although the Office made some mistakes when it comes to the scope of goods and services for which this invalidation is applicable (corrected after that), the General Court confirmed this decision in its entirety.
The EUIPO decision is accessible here.