How to get your 3D trademark into shape


William Hillson

How to get your 3D trademark into shape

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Guerlain’s win at the EU General Court shines light on what makes a 3D shape mark ‘distinctive’ and protectable, Powell Gilbert associate William Hilson explains.

What lessons can aspiring shape mark owners learn from Guerlain’s victory at the EU General Court, in which a European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) appeal board’s refusal to register their famous lipstick case as a 3D trademark was overturned?

While some commentators have speculated that this decision may signal a new approach from the General Court that may now be more accepting of unconventional trademarks, it is worth bearing in mind the very specific industry context of this decision.

Perhaps the most important lesson from this decision is that anyone seeking to register a 3D shape mark for packaging must know their market (and their customer base) very well.

Guerlain, 3D trademark, EU General Court, Powell Gilbert, lipstick, brands, distinctiveness, packaging design, shape