Discovering non-traditional brands: the movement brand
In general, there are two main categories of brands traditional trademarks (word, semi-figurative, figurative) and non-traditional trademarks. For years, the Offices accepted only so-called traditional marks, in particular because they could be easily represented in the registers. With technological advances, other forms of trademarks have emerged. It is thus theoretically possible to file sound marks or olfactory. We have mentioned some cases in previous articles. Today, we present you the movement trademark, which has had some success with the EUIPO.
What is a motion mark?
As its name suggests, the movement mark is a sign that consists of a movement or change in position of the elements of the mark. It differs from the multimedia brand, a new type of brand, created by the reform of the 1er October 2017. A multimedia brand is a combination of images and sound (e.g. a video).
Thus, a motion mark is essentially a mark that moves. When filing the mark, the Office must therefore be allowed to visualise this movement. Several techniques have been used: an applicant has attached a "flipbook" allowing the movement to be appreciated. Other trademarks have been registered with a cartoon-like representation The same image was repeated several times and the moving element occupied a different place on each image. These sequential images made it easy to imagine the movement.
Today, EUIPO has evolved its practice: it is now possible to attach an MP4 to the application. However, the European Office recommends that a written description be attached to movement mark applications.
A trademark appreciated by applicants
Compared to other non-traditional brands, the movement brand is relatively successful. For example, the EUIPO registers show us that there are currently only twelve applications for hologram marks and around thirty applications for multimedia marks. The 61 applications for movement marks show the interest generated by them. Among the applicants are mainly multinationals (Microsoft, Red Bull, Bang & Olufsen).
However, these numbers are only indicative. Indeed, a large proportion of these non-traditional trademark applications have been refused by EUIPO. Finally, the olfactory trademark has not been as successful. No trademark has been accepted by EUIPO since the 2017 reform. Similarly, it is still impossible to protect a flavor to this day.
However, it appears that EUIPO is becoming increasingly flexible in assessing non-traditional trademarks. These are likely to increase in the near future.
As for France, non-traditional trademarks (and in particular the movement trademark) are for the most part not yet recognized by the INPI. However, the forthcoming application of Directive 2015/2436 will make it possible for French applicants to register their movement, multimedia, hologram, etc. trademarks. And as always, we will keep you informed of trademark movements!