JUST EGG cannot be an EU trademark in relation to egg substitute

The Board of Appeal of the EUIPO has ruled in a case where the US company Eat Just, Inc. tried to register a European trademark for JUST EGG in class 29: Plant-based egg substitute; liquid egg substitute; plant-based processed food.

The EUIPO refused registration of the sign based on Article 7(1)(g) EUTMR (misleading character), in conjunction with Article 7(2), EUTMR for all the goods.

According to the Office, the English-speaking part of the European consumers will understand the sign as “merely/only egg”. This comes into conflict with the goods specified in the application which targets an egg substitute. So from that perspective consumers can erroneously assume, based on the meaning of the mark, that the goods under it are not plant-based where they will be such one.

The Board upheld this decision in its entirety.

This case shows clearly how important is for good preparation to be done before filing a trademark application. If there is a conflict between the brand name and the goods or services specified in the application the chances for refusal by the Patent Office will rise significantly.


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