French fashion house, Balmain has been blocked by the European Court of Justice from registering trademarks for two medallion-style designs for a lion’s head that it uses on the buttons of its clothes.
Balmain applied to register the marks in November 2017, in classes 9, 14, 18, 25, and 28, covering items such as clothes, cufflinks, buttons, and leather goods.
According to the court, the judge ruled that there are no distinctive designs in the lion’s head design.
The examiner of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) refused to register the trademark in classes 14 and 26, for cufflinks and buttons in May 2018.
The examiner reportedly said that the designs featuring a lion’s head was a common feature of button designs in the fashion industry and can’t be identified as unique to Balmain as the source of the goods.
Balmain referred the case to the General Court arguing that the mark would attract a higher level of attention and easier to identify Balmain as the origin of the products by those in the fashion sector when purchasing goods.
According to the General Court, Balmain failed to counter the argument and the design do not fulfill its necessary function as a trademark, the General Court ruled.
The court ordered that Balmain bear its own costs and those of the EUIPO.