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Philips Electronics NV v Remington Consumer Products Ltd

[2002] Case C-299/99

Case summary last updated at 31/01/2020 15:57 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Philips Electronics NV v Remington Consumer Products Ltd

Philips was previously the monopoly supplier of three-headed shavers to UK market. Sought to register three-headed shape as a trade mark. In light of problems due to lack of distinctiveness, Philips claimed product had acquired distinctiveness through us. Held:
 
·       Fact that Philips had monopoly does not stop the sign having become distinctive through use.
·       However even if public recognise sign, has only become distinctive:
1)     if public see it as indicating COMMERCIAL origin
2)     and if its prior use was as a trade mark
-        i.e. even if three-headed shaver was associated with Philips, must be shown that this was through it having been used as a trade mark
-        and not simply because the public liked the shape of the head
 
·       Left to national court to decide.
 

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