IEPI accepts first registration of a texture mark

Ecuador

The Ecuadorian IP Institute (IEPI) has allowed registration of the special crinkled surface of a whisky bottle as a trademark. It appears that it is the world's first registration of a texture mark.

The IEPI found that, while not all textures may be registered as trademarks, the texture of the bottle used for the Old Parr brand of whisky produced by alcoholic drink manufacturer Diageo fulfilled all of the requirements for registration. The IEPI held that the texture mark was:

  • distinctive;

  • perceptible (including visually perceptible); and

  • capable of graphic representation (even though representation in the Industrial Property Gazette proved difficult).

The get-up of Diageo's Old Parr bottle has been registered as a trademark for many years throughout the world. The separate registration of the OLD PARR surface texture will enable Diageo to prevent competitors from copying the specific texture of the bottle in order to create customer confusion or commercial association as to the origin of the whisky, which would dilute the overall strength of the Old Parr brand.

Bruce Horowitz, Paz & Horowitz, Quito

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