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Sieckmann v Deutsches Patent

[2002] C-273/00

Case summary last updated at 31/01/2020 13:53 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Sieckmann v Deutsches Patent

C sought to register trademark described as a ‘balsamically fruity odour with a slight hint of cinnamon’. When making application, C also deposited its chemical breakdown and a sample of odour in a container to German Trade Mark office. Issue was whether an intangible sign may be registered. Held:
‘Graphic Representation’
1)     As per Article 2:
i)         Trade mark may consist of something not capable of being perceived visually
ii)        but only provided it can be REPRESENTED GRAPHICALLY
2)     This graphic representation must allow the sign to be represented visually (so that it can be precisely identified in trade mark registry.
3)     This representation usually done via images, lines or characters
4)     Any graphic representation must be:
a.     clear, 
b.     precise, 
c.     self-contained, 
d.     easily accessible, 
e.     intelligible, 
f.      durable, 
g.     objective.
·       On facts, C had not given adequate graphic representation of odour it wished to register.
Ø  Neither a chemical formula, description of odour nor a sample of odour is sufficiently clear and precise to constitute a graphic representation
Ø  As these are not sufficiently precise.

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