Can a circle be a trademark?

01-09-2013

Jaime R. Angeles

As we know, a trademark can consist of words, letters, numbers, figures, lines; in the Dominican Republic an applicant can also obtain sounds and smells as trademarks.

As we know, a trademark can consist of words, letters, numbers, figures, lines; in the Dominican Republic an applicant can also obtain sounds and smells as trademarks. In a judgment made public in August 2013, the Court of Appeals of Santo Domingo confirmed an administrative decision that denied the registration of a circle.

In February 2009, a company filed the application for a trademark ‘circle design’. This circle contained four other circles in the centre. An important competitor filed an opposition against the circle design application, arguing that the sign consisted of a “simple geometric form” without the distinctiveness needed for trademark protection. Also included in its arguments was a claim that circles cannot be appropriated by any particular person (company) and that ‘circles’ are used only as ornamental (decorative) elements and not as trademarks. 

"The court decided against the applicant for the trademark, considering that the products for that particular company are not well advertised and the products are not recognised."


ONAPI, trademark, Dominican Republic

WIPR