The General Court of the European Union has ruled in case T‑572/19, Muratbey Gida Sanayi ve Ticaret AŞ v EUIPO. It concerns an attempt for registration of the following EU 3D trademark for the shape of cheese sticks in class 29 – milk products:
The EUIPO refused the registration with the argument that it is not distinctive. The Turkish applicant claimed that the shape was novel, original and unique, offered in the market for the first time by him. Because of this the company won a World Dairy Innovation Award 2018.
The Court disagreed. Novelty and originality are not criteria for assessment of the distinctive character of a sign. The award could be a factor but only if it was based on a consumer perception.
According to the Court, other producers were offering similar products too because of which the shape of this cheese is not distinctive enough to be registered as a trademark.