No place for NURSERYROOM on the register

European Union

In Geddes v Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the European Court of First Instance (CFI) has upheld a decision to refuse the registration of NURSERYROOM as a Community trademark for various goods intended for babies.

Anne Geddes, a resident of Auckland, New Zealand, filed the application for "books, stationery, cards" in Class 16 of the Nice Classification, "diaper bags" in Class 18, "plates and cups" in Class 21, "hats, booties, baby clothing, shoes, layettes" in Class 25, and "plush toys, mobiles" in Class 28. The OHIM rejected the application on the grounds that the mark was descriptive of the intended purpose of the goods concerned.

On appeal, the CFI confirmed the OHIM's decision and refused registration. It held that the mark NURSERYROOM designates a place for use by babies or young children. Merely bringing the two descriptive words 'nursery' and 'room' together without introducing any unusual variations did not render the mark distinctive.

The CFI analyzed the meaning of the sign in relation to the goods covered by the trademark application. It found that the relevant public would easily establish a direct and specific link between the mark NURSERYROOM and those goods since they were all capable of being intended, exclusively or potentially, for babies or young children.

Friederike Bahr, Beiten Burkhardt, Munich

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