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Kan funktionell eller estetisk design varumärkesskyddas?

Lordh, Hanna LU (2016) HARH12 20161
Department of Business Law
Abstract
Unlike other Intellectual Property Rights, trademark law does not have any time restrictions concerning protection possibilities. This constitutes companies to apply for trademark protection for functional or aesthetical designs instead of, or as a supplement to, patent and design protection. Therefore, there are absolute grounds for refusal that include that a sign with either a technical result or a substantial value will not receive a trademark registration. These grounds for refusal exist in order to prevent a continuous monopolization of the market that may lead to limitations for competitors to produce similar designs.

However, the absolute grounds for refusal concerning functional or aesthetical design have been criticized for... (More)
Unlike other Intellectual Property Rights, trademark law does not have any time restrictions concerning protection possibilities. This constitutes companies to apply for trademark protection for functional or aesthetical designs instead of, or as a supplement to, patent and design protection. Therefore, there are absolute grounds for refusal that include that a sign with either a technical result or a substantial value will not receive a trademark registration. These grounds for refusal exist in order to prevent a continuous monopolization of the market that may lead to limitations for competitors to produce similar designs.

However, the absolute grounds for refusal concerning functional or aesthetical design have been criticized for being obscure and difficult to apply. It is still relatively unclear how the question, if a functional or an aesthetical design will be a trademark, is going to be answered. Before the EU Trademark reform package (trademark package) of March 23, 2016 reformed the two absolute grounds for refusal, they stated that signs that consist of a shape that receives a technical result, or gives a substantial value, should not become a trademark. When the trademark package was implemented, the absolute grounds for refusal were reformed to include signs that consist of a shape or another characteristic.

Due to that the change is new and has not yet been ruled by the European instances, it is difficult to tell whether the reformed grounds for refusal will be easier or harder to apply. However, it will probably still not be possible to register a functional or an aesthetical design as a trademark in the future. If the characteristics not are essential it is possible to register the design as a trademark. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Till skillnad från andra immateriella rättigheter är i princip det varumärkesrättsliga skyddet inte tidsbegränsat. Detta medför att företag, istället för eller som ett komplement till patent eller mönsterskydd, kan se en möjlighet i att söka varumärkesregistrering för funktionell respektive estetisk design. Därför finns det i varumärkeslagstiftningen absoluta registreringshinder vilka innefattar att kännetecken som har ett tekniskt resultat eller betydande värde inte ska kunna erhålla varumärkesregistrering. Detta i syfte att hindra en fortsatt monopolisering på marknaden vilket kan leda till konkurrensbegränsningar för andra aktörer.

Registreringshindren för en funktionell respektive estetisk design har dock under lång tid kritiserats... (More)
Till skillnad från andra immateriella rättigheter är i princip det varumärkesrättsliga skyddet inte tidsbegränsat. Detta medför att företag, istället för eller som ett komplement till patent eller mönsterskydd, kan se en möjlighet i att söka varumärkesregistrering för funktionell respektive estetisk design. Därför finns det i varumärkeslagstiftningen absoluta registreringshinder vilka innefattar att kännetecken som har ett tekniskt resultat eller betydande värde inte ska kunna erhålla varumärkesregistrering. Detta i syfte att hindra en fortsatt monopolisering på marknaden vilket kan leda till konkurrensbegränsningar för andra aktörer.

Registreringshindren för en funktionell respektive estetisk design har dock under lång tid kritiserats för att vara otydliga och svåra att tillämpa. Det är fortfarande relativt oklart hur det ska bedömas i frågan om en funktionell respektive estetisk design kan varumärkesregistreras. Innan EU Trademark reform package (varumärkespaketet) omarbetade registreringshindren i mars år 2016, hindrades kännetecken som bestod av en form med antingen tekniska egenskaper eller egenskaper av betydande värde, varumärkesregistrering. Med varumärkespaketet reviderades lydelserna till att kännetecknet kan bestå av en form eller en annan egenskap.

Då ändringen är ny och ännu inte har hunnit prövas, är det svårt att veta om de nya registreringshindren kommer leda till att funktionell respektive estetisk design kommer ha svårare eller lättare att erhålla varumärkesregistrering. Utifrån aktuell information ska det emellertid fortfarande inte vara möjligt att varumärkesskydda en design, så länge kännetecknets egenskaper, särdragen, är väsentliga. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Lordh, Hanna LU
supervisor
organization
course
HARH12 20161
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
estetisk design, funktionell design, EU Trademark reform package, Immaterialrätt, Varumärkesrätt
language
Swedish
id
8878200
date added to LUP
2016-06-07 13:49:58
date last changed
2016-06-07 13:49:58
@misc{8878200,
  abstract     = {Unlike other Intellectual Property Rights, trademark law does not have any time restrictions concerning protection possibilities. This constitutes companies to apply for trademark protection for functional or aesthetical designs instead of, or as a supplement to, patent and design protection. Therefore, there are absolute grounds for refusal that include that a sign with either a technical result or a substantial value will not receive a trademark registration. These grounds for refusal exist in order to prevent a continuous monopolization of the market that may lead to limitations for competitors to produce similar designs.

However, the absolute grounds for refusal concerning functional or aesthetical design have been criticized for being obscure and difficult to apply. It is still relatively unclear how the question, if a functional or an aesthetical design will be a trademark, is going to be answered. Before the EU Trademark reform package (trademark package) of March 23, 2016 reformed the two absolute grounds for refusal, they stated that signs that consist of a shape that receives a technical result, or gives a substantial value, should not become a trademark. When the trademark package was implemented, the absolute grounds for refusal were reformed to include signs that consist of a shape or another characteristic. 

Due to that the change is new and has not yet been ruled by the European instances, it is difficult to tell whether the reformed grounds for refusal will be easier or harder to apply. However, it will probably still not be possible to register a functional or an aesthetical design as a trademark in the future. If the characteristics not are essential it is possible to register the design as a trademark.},
  author       = {Lordh, Hanna},
  keyword      = {estetisk design,funktionell design,EU Trademark reform package,Immaterialrätt,Varumärkesrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Kan funktionell eller estetisk design varumärkesskyddas?},
  year         = {2016},
}