A trade mark is used to distinguish goods and services provided by a brand, from its competitors. A registered trade mark can offer protection to a brand’s reputation and ensure that consumers are not misled when purchasing goods and services.
The seminal, 2008 ‘Adidas’ European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling may have afforded extra trademark protection to well-known brands. The ECJ dismissed the ‘availability’ argument in relation to trade mark infringement.
This means that the public interest in keeping generic signs such as stripes generally available for use will not be a factor taken into consideration in relation to the assessment of potential infringement.