EUROPIG gets the chop

Whoops - the IPKat almost forgot to make mention of L'Affaire T‑207/06 Europig SA contre Office de l’harmonisation dans le marché intérieur. It's all in French. The Kat thinks it's an attempt to register the word EUROPIG for meat. If so, he would not expect it to be registrable, on the same basis that EUROLAMB was refused for meat in the UK (EURO = from Europe; LAMB = type of meat from sheep; meat not from Europe or from sheep = deceptive; meat from Europe or from sheep = descriptive). Merpel says, this must be an offensive mark: the word EUROPIG would be pronounced in many parts of England as "You're a pig".

If there's anything significant in this case, can some kind person please email the IPKat here and tell him?
EUROPIG gets the chop EUROPIG gets the chop Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, June 14, 2007 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

EUROPIG is probably registrable in the UK on the basis that it is not a term normally used to describe the goods. Yet again,(see ROCKBASS, LOKTHREAD in very recent times) the European Authorities have signally failed to grasp English usage.

EUROPIG may be unacceptable for live animals, but it isn't for cuts of meat or processed meat.

Description plus description equals description, according to the European Courts. NO, NO, NO, (and NO again for added effect)I say.

My suggestion is that OHIM outsource all their English marks (especially conjoined terms) to English speakers at the UK-IPO.

As to Merpel thinking the mark is offensive, well, now I've heard it all ! You're far too sensitive Merpel. The mark applied for is EUROPIG. (see FCUK by the APs for an analysis of marks which may evoke offensive terms).

TG said...

It would be too too tedious to go through the Court’s rejection of the appellant’s unreal (surreal?) arguments…all trayf and no new law. Oink.

Jeremy said...

Anonymous has a point - but not a very compelling one. (S)he writes: "Description plus description equals description, according to the European Courts. NO, NO, NO, (and NO again for added effect)I say". It's neither a NO nor a YES but a MAYBE, depending on the descriptions. Thus FEMALE + EROTIC + BIPED might be descriptive of (say) Paris Hilton and HOT + BLACK + COFFEE might be descriptive of hot black coffee. It depends on whether the EUROLAMB equation is seen as a proposition of law or as a proposition of fact.

Oh, and Merpel only said she thought EUROPIG sounded offensive. She didn't say it wouldn't be registrable ...

Anonymous said...

Dear tg and Jeremy,

Although there may be no new law, if I were an English speaking CTM applicant who had invented a word (conjoining two known words), which is never in a million years going to be used by other traders descriptively, then I would be mighty cheesed off.

LOKTHREAD, EUROPIG and ROCKBASS are all such words and that they have all cropped up in the last few weeks indicates a trend to me. [Jeremy: I feel an article coming on, would you be interested ?]

The issue is quite simple to me. The underlying public interest in the grounds of objection relating to desciptiveness relate to the need to keep free for other traders. I personally do not therefore believe that perfectly good, invented even,registrable trade marks be denied protection on the basis of self made linguistic rules regarding 'neologisms'.

Personally I don't even have a problem with EUROLAMB, though I can see that that would be potentially more problematic than EUROPIG !

In my view, the fact that EUROPIG is registered in the UK for meat (which it is, in fact) ought to weigh more heavily with the European authorities. Everyone knows that the UK examination is pretty rigorous (and conducted by natural English speakers).

Anonymous said...

Methinks TG is bruised (braised?) by the meat of this matter. Do I recall that the same TG took EUROLAMB to the UK Appointed Person some years ago, to be told that his arguments were over-cooked?
KRF Norwich

Tibor Gold said...

Just because I argued something my client wished me to argue and I lost does not detract from the fact that both EUROLAMB and EUROPIG are correctly decided. It just goes to show what an intrepid and resourceful advocate I am!!!
So no bruising or braising. KRF knows me well and I challenge him to say I ever said different about EUROLAMB. LOKTHREAD is quite different, it is not a straightforward juxtaposition with immediate, stress immediate, meaning. ROCKBASS is also highly arguable. I suggest EASYBANK should be compulsory reading for the CFI - and for certain correspondents...Oink oink oink

Jeremy said...

Anon writes "In my view, the fact that EUROPIG is registered in the UK for meat (which it is, in fact) ought to weigh more heavily with the European authorities". Why? Is it known whether EUROPIG was registrable on the grounds of inherent distinctiveness, or whether the examiner was impressed by evidence of distinctiveness acquired through use? Is the relevant consumer the man in the street or the discerning user of abbatoir facilities? Even the outcome of rigorous examination by fluent English-speakers can still turn on such petty trifles.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeremy,

What a wonderful exchange for a Friday afternoon! I can confirm that UK TM 2380867 EUROPIG was taken prima facie by the UK-IPO. If a mark is taken on use, then there is a clause to that effect on the register.

Quite right too, as it is inherently distinctive and would be seen as such by the average consumer who, in this case would be the general public.

Filemot said...

Your last mouse shows how we find out if there was evidence of distinctiveness in the UK without paying for a copy of the file but have you seen that OHIM have enhanced their CTM-online database to allow you to see the file history.

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