One of the biggest foodstuff producers in the world Ferrero successfully defended its 3D trademarks for the famous Tic Tac container.
The case at hand concerns a Czech producer which sells identical products using very similar container but with different brand BLIKI.
According to this producer, Ferroro’s container cannot function as a trademark because it has a technical function and adds substantial value. In addition, the BLIKI brand makes a difference.
The court in Turin disagreed. In regard to the brands, this was irrelevant for the case because the earlier mark was only 3D.
The court considered that the Ferrero’s mark has no technical function. Apart from this, there was no evidence that consumers buy Tic Tac because of the substantial value given by the container.
This case is a good example of the significant role that trademark protection has in every company IP strategy. While design protection can last up to 25 years, trademarks can exist forever in they are maintained properly.