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E.U. Advocate-General Rejects P&G Soap Tablet Trademark

Law360 (November 6, 2003, 12:00 AM EST) -- Soap tablets used in washing machines and dishwashers are not distinctive enough to qualify as trademarks in the European Union, Advocate-General Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer of the European Court of Justice advised Thursday.

U.S. consumer-products maker Procter & Gamble applied in 1998 to register its range of the detergent tablets for E.U.-wide trademark protection, submitting details of their geometric appearance and color combinations.

P&G's soap tablets highlighted the difficulties of applying trademark criteria to three-dimensional products when the rules had evolved mainly for words and designs, the...
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