Black Friday is one of the most anticipated days of the year for consumers when it comes to promotions and trade deals. Many people are attracted by the idea to buy something at a serious discount.
This is one of the reasons though why there are so many attempts for it monopolizing as a trademark sign.
In Europe, for example, there are several such cases. One of them, in Austria, has come to an end recently when the Austrian Court ordered that Black Friday cannot function as a trademark because it is not distinctive enough for the classes of goods and services for which the trademark was applied for.
In many countries around the world, even not English speaking, the phrase is well-known as a meaning for most of the people and as such, it cannot serve as a source of origin.
The case concerns an attempt by a Chinese company, which as an owner of registered Black Friday mark, tries to give licenses to Austrian companies that want to use it in their promotions.
This is not the onliest case, however. There is a similar lawsuit in Germany, which now is pending before the Federal Patent Court.
In Bulgaria, there were several Black Friday trademarks which now are canceled.
A brief search in the TMView database shows that there are even more such trademarks around the world. Most of them, which are only words marks or in combination with undistinctive visual representations, are ended.
Nevertheless, there are other similar marks that include additional words or graphics that are registered. The question here is to what extent they are useful considering their low distinctive character.
Source: Axel Anderl and Alexandra Ciarnau for Lexilogy.