No kidding -- a mark to get your goat!

The wonderful trade mark depicted above, and recently unearthed by the Trademark Blog, sparked off a sudden thought: could it be registered in Europe as a Community trade mark or a national mark?  The Kat's immediate thought is that could not.  While the idea may be novel and capable of distinguishing its owner's services from those of others, the requirement of graphic representation in Europe would appear to demand that the depiction be such as to enable a court or examiner to identify the mark with a view to being able to compare it with other marks. Since the description here fails to specify the number of goats, their size, gender, or physical appearance -- or even whether they are live, dead or artificial -- there is no clear basis upon which to make such a comparison.

Exit Stage Right: the goat departs
Merpel adds, there are so many other interesting issues to consider.  For example, how does one, on a global examination, determine how the relevant consumer will perceive a mark of which, unless he travels by helicopter or wears stilts, he will only be able to see a small part.  And what would constitute a similar mark: sheep on the roof, a combination of sheep and goats -- or goats grazing on Astroturf? Can anyone advise?

More on Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant and Butik here
One place in Al Johnson's where you won't find goat: the menu
English goats on the roof here
Cat on the roof here
Fiddler on the roof here
No kidding -- a mark to get your goat! No kidding -- a mark to get your goat! Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. By virtue of the fact that we can see a diagram of it, then graphic representation probably wouldn't be a problem.

    More goats on the roof:

    Sea Lion on the roof:

  2. Cow on the roof:

  3. Perhaps you could get a GI for the goat meat? The terroir of a particular roof must be contributory to the particular (and sought after) flavour of the goats...

    Incidentally, what is the smallest area for which there is a GI?

  4. ...and what, exactly, is a butik? It sounds like something you might sit on.

  5. The goats in question are living, breathing goats, 4-6 usually...they are brought up onto the grass roof around 8:30am by a ramp at the back of the restaurant. The spend the day on the roof (unless it's too wet or windy) and are brought down around 5pm.

  6. Should be an easy answer to this - not only is graphical representation tricky (only one particular frozen snapshot of a mobile goat population) but it also presumably fails Dyson. Its too abstract and not a sign.

    Wonder if the lawyers are charging billy-able hours. And although its ewe-inducing I'm not feeling sheepish about that one...


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