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Windsurfing Chiemsee

[1999] Cases 108/97

Case summary last updated at 31/01/2020 15:50 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Windsurfing Chiemsee

Company sought to register word ‘Chiemsee’, the largest lake in Bavaria, as trade mark for clothing and sportswear. Question was whether it was descriptive. Held:
Descriptive Marks
·       Mark which is the name of a geographical place notregistrable where place is:
i)        Currently associated with goods concerned
ii)       Or it is reasonable to assume that such an association may be established in future
·       Relevant association may be belief amongst consumers that:
Ø  Goods are manufactured in that place
Ø  Goods are conceived of and designed in that place
–       even if consumers do not believe they were manufactured there
·       The larger the place, the less likely mark can be registered
Ø  i.e. as more likely other traders will want to use it
·       However mark can be registered where:
a.     Geographical location not known to relevant consumers
b.     Or consumers are unlikely to believe goods in question originate from that geographical location
–       E.g. because it is a mountain or lake

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