European Court Allows Combined Descriptive Marks

Law360, New York (February 18, 2004, 12:00 AM EST) -- Combinations of descriptive words may qualify as European trademarks, but only when those combinations amount to more than the sum of their parts, the European Court of Justice has ruled.

The court had previously allowed Procter & Gamble’s trademark “Baby-Dry” because the two words formed an unusual combination, but rejected Wrigley’s “Doublemint” trademark on the grounds that one of its possible meanings could designate a characteristic of the goods concerned.

Last week, the court provided further clarification with rulings on the cases of Koninklijke KPN Nederland...
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