EU Court Rejects Trademarks For 3D Shapes

Law360, New York (April 29, 2004, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The European Court of Justice has rejected appeals by U.S. consumer-goods conglomerate Proctor & Gamble Co. and German counterpart Henkel to trademark the size, shape and color of their detergent tablets.

P&G and Henkel had claimed that tablets for washing machines or dishwashers were new and distinctive when they sought protection in the late 1990s.

However, the court found rectangular tablets are the most functional shape for use in washing machines and dishwashers. It concluded that goods' everyday characteristics are not sufficiently distinctive to qualify for...
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