Something to look forward to, er, in 2013+1

The IPKat's attention has been drawn to Community Trade Mark E3307444. The mark in question consists of the number '2014', which no-one would ever imagine to be the appellation by which next year might just be known. Applied for in 2003 and registered in 2005, this mark is owned by none other than the Comité International Olympique of Château de Vidy, Lausanne.

For most good folk, Olympic years are those which are exactly divisible by four, which means that the next 'real' Olympics don't happen till 2016. However, for the pleasure of winter sports followers and the relief of unbearable impatience on the part of sponsors, there are Winter Olympics too, in even-numbered years that can't be divided exactly by four. The next Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi in -- you guessed it -- 2014.

A quick peep at the specification for Community trade mark 2014 reveals that the Comité International Olympique (IOC) must have some grand conceptions for its commercial exploitation, it being registered for every single Class from 01 to 45.  Not easily shocked or surprised by anything that the Olympians at the IOC do in the name of sport, this Kat has not yet lost his capacity to be amused.  Among the following goods and services for which 2014 has been monopolised -- subject to any defence available under the Community Trade Mark Regulation -- are the following:
Class 01: fire extinguishing compositions [in case that famous flame gets out of control];

Class 03: abrasive preparations [useful when dealing with critics and the social media];

Class 05: preparations for destroying vermin [ditto];

Class 06: materials of metal for railway tracks [what!];

Class 09: cash registers [indeed, it does ...];

Class 10: artificial limbs, eyes and teeth [performance-enhancing spare parts?];

Class 13: firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosive materials [starting pistols -- but what else?];

Class 19: asphalt, pitch and bitumen [seriously?];

Class 31: live animals [ditto];

Class 34: tobacco; smokers' requisites [not the best products to be identified with the healthy Olympic ethos, surely?].
The IPKat doesn't feel he can safely use 2014 in the course of trade, so he has decided to call it "2013+1".  Merpel isn't sure that this will work.  The first three digits of 2014 also begin "2013" and, as is well known in decisions of the General Court and the Boards of Appeal of OHIM, consumers are likely to pay more attention to the beginning of a mark than to its end unless there's a good reason why they won't ...

Will next year's Commonwealth Games be in jeopardy? are the organisers taking a risk by using '2014'?

A katpat to Tony Willoughby, who first drew this registration to the Kats' attention
Something to look forward to, er, in 2013+1 Something to look forward to, er, in 2013+1 Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

Suerly the original "fire extinguishing composition" is Handel's Water Music!

MIAU said...

This not an original happening. It happened befofe on 2004 in the football Euro in Portugal when UEFA registered several portuguese trademarks for the whole Nice Classification.
Its time to move back to the basics!! What about the Applicant's "basic" interest in registering a TM and acquiring an Exclusive Right?

Peter Smith said...

The specification in Class 16 would seem to include calendars and diaries...

Anonymous said...

2014 was registered in Nov. 2005. Time to file a revocation action for reasons of non-use?

Michael Factor said...

Maybe we should err on the side of caution and simply miss 2014 altogether?

Ron said...

Would it be OK to use MMXIV? Or has tht been registered as well?

Mark said...


MIAU said...

Still conceptually similar?

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