Amazon failed to register its RING trademark in the EU

doorbell-143467_960_720Amazon lost a dispute in Case T‑270/19 v EUIPO before the General Court of the European Union.  The case concerns an attempt by the US company to register the following EU trademark:

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The mark was applied for:

Class 9: ‘Consumer electronic products, namely, doorbells, motion sensors and monitoring equipment, namely, video monitors and video cameras for monitoring the interior and exterior of homes, retail stores, or offices for security and surveillance; electronic wireless LAN enabled doorbells; electronic doorbells; electronic doorbells with a camera allowing persons to identify who is at their door from remote locations; motion sensors and monitoring equipment, namely, video monitors and video cameras for monitoring the interior and exterior of homes, retail stores, or offices for security and surveillance; electronic wireless LAN enabled motion sensors and monitoring equipment, namely, video monitors and video cameras for monitoring the interior and exterior of homes, retail stores, or offices for security and surveillance; downloadable software and software applications permitting users to identify and communicate with persons at their door; downloadable software and software applications permitting users to monitor their home, office and other facilities; downloadable applications for monitoring a user’s home, office and other facilities, for use over the internet, mobile devices, wireless internet networks or systems and other computer and electronic communication networks; speakers; wireless local area network enabled speakers; customisable electronic speakers; computer application software for use in controlling and managing speakers, wireless local area network enabled speakers, customisable electronic speakers; luminous signs; electric signs; electronic signs; backlit signs; lighting controllers; lighting control apparatus; electric control devices for lighting fixtures; computer software for sharing videos; computer application software for sharing videos; computer application software for mobile phones and other mobile devices, namely, software for sharing videos’.

The EUIPO rejected the registration of this mark based on absolute grounds. According to the Office, the sign is completely descriptive for the mentioned goods and cannot serve as a source of trade origin.

Amazon appealed argued that the mark applied for was only suggestive or allusive, and not communication particular characteristics of the goods.

The Court dismissed the appeal stating that the mark was completely descriptive for the relevant goods and in that way not able to indicate trade origin. According to the Court  “the verbal element “ring”, which means in particular to “make a clear resonant or vibrating sound”, immediately informed the consumers, without their further thought, that the goods in question, “doorbells, motion sensors, monitoring equipment, namely video monitors and video cameras”, include a system to enable them to produce a clear resonant or vibrating sound.”