Descriptive Number Cannot Be Registered as Trade Mark

Trade marks can come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can include names and numbers – but cannot, says the European Court of Justice (ECJ), include a number which is merely descriptive.

The decision followed an attempt to register as a Community Trade Mark (CTM) the number ‘1,000’ for a puzzle book. The ECJ ruled that the number was ‘too descriptive’ and would mean to the reader that the book contained 1,000 puzzles.

The ECJ stated that one of the objects of the regulation on CTMs is that of ‘ensuring that descriptive signs relating to one or more characteristics of the goods or services in respect of which registration as a mark is sought may be freely used by all traders offering such goods or services’.

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