We are great fans of National Geographic Magazine,
but in trying to get a blanket European trademark
for their traditional yellow magazine border,
the National Geographic Society has gone a bit too far,
and so the OHIM Board of Appeal recently decided,
finding the magazine border in the image below
not subject to a blanket trademark for all 27 EU Member States.
As written at TaylorWessing Brands Update:
"Not only does this case confirm the general trend in CTM case-law that it has become increasingly difficult to register relatively basic geometric shapes as marks at OHIM, but that proving acquired distinctiveness of non-word marks is a very tall order given the need to show this for all 27 Member States."By the way, ponder for a moment how you would trademark a particular color code for a border like that in terms of online color coding? or could you trademark a "range" of online colors so as to exclude potential similarities? How much would a color on a border have to diverge in order NOT to infringe such a color-based trademark? what about the dimensions of the border? how about book borders? or picture frames?