EU Court of Justice dismisses “Karelia” trademark claim
MOSCOW, October 10 (RAPSI) – The Court of Justice of the European Union has dismissed an application to register “Karelia” trademark filed by a resident of Greece Ino Karelia because of similarities to a region of the same name located on the border between Russia and Finland, the court’s ruling reads on Wednesday.
The claimant asked to register a trademark related to industrial oils, fuels, illuminants and other similar products. The claim was dismissed because “Karelia” was found out to be a descriptive word referring to the geographical region. According to EU laws, the trademark must not contain descriptive elements referring to qualities of a good.
It was noted that Karelia is known as a region with developing biomass and biofuel industries. As such relevant public may wrongfully think that the goods under the trademark are produced in the region.
The claimant argued that the number of people, who may establish such associations, is negligible and that in Sweden, for instance, it may be associated with a territory once controlled by the country. The court dismissed this argument stating that the number is not negligible and that the word carries certain meaning for people in Finland.
Also, the claimant referred to existence of Greek surname Karelia but this argument was also dismissed because there is no proof that people in regions on interest commonly know this fact.