EUIPO has issued recently a decision on a case which has to check to what extent MALLE can mean the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca.
The case concerns a registered European trademark MALLE for classes 9, 35, 38 and 41 that regard goods and services such as CDs, TV shows, parties, music production and so on.
After receiving registration, the trademark owner started to send cease and desist letters to anyone who dare to use the name in relation to the above classes.
The problem is that MALLE is a everyday word that means Mallorca for German consumers.
Because of that an invalidation proceeding was initiated against the mark.
The EUIPO invalidated this trademark based on absolute grounds – marks which consist exclusively of signs or indications that may serve, in trade, to designate geographical origin are not possible to be registered.
According to the Office, there is sufficient evidence in the form of many press articles for decades, which show clearly that German speaking consumers understand MALLE as reference to Mallorca.
The fact that this conclusion concerns only one country in the EU is enough in order for the trademark to be invalidated.
There is a similar proceedings in Germany against national trademark MALLE .
Source: Yvonne Draheim – Hogan Lovells for Lexology