A recent CTM case concerning an iconic Canadian symbol caught our attention.
The dispute between American Clothing Associates SA and the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (“OHIM” – the body that administrates the Community Trademark System) focuses upon the Canada’s well-known maple leaf symbol–stylized versions of which appear as part of our own logo, above.
The case considers the extent to which national symbols are afforded protection under the Community Regulation 40/94 and under the Paris Convention. American Clothing Associates SA (“ACA”) originally sought to register a logo made up of the Maple Leaf symbol, with the letters RW located beneath, for use in association with both goods and services.
OHIM’s examiner refused the initial application concluding that the mark as a whole would improperly connote an association with Canada. ACA appealed and lost again, the Appeal Board noting that the inclusion of the RW element in the mark did not avoid the application of Article 6ter of the Paris Convention which prohibits the use of marks incorporating State indicia without consent. Read more