E.U. Court: Sounds May Be Trademarked

Law360, New York (November 27, 2003, 12:00 AM EST) -- The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice on Thursday said some sounds may be trademarked, but laid down strict rules for sound marks and rejected a bid for a rooster's crow as lacking in "precision and clarity."

In the rooster case, Dutch trademark agency Shield Mark had claimed the sound of the rooster’s crow--"Kukelekuuuuu" in Dutch, equivalent to "cock-a-doodle-do" in English-- as its legally protected intellectual property.

Shield Mark had sued a communications consultant who used a rooster’s crow in his advertising in Dutch courts for trademark...
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