Six trademark applications by the car maker Jaguar Land Rover consisting of 3D shapes of Land Rover models has been refused by the U.K. Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
U.K. Intellectual Property Office (IPO) decline the registration of the marks covering the shapes of the Land Rover Series 1, Series 2, Defender 90 and 110 models, in respect of most goods and services.
Land Rover had sought to register its marks in relation to a range of goods and services in classes 9, 12, 14, 28, and 37. This included electrical goods in class 9, vehicles and parts for vehicles in class 12, jewellery, watches and badges in class 14, toy and model vehicles in class 28, and repair and customisation services in class 37.
The refusal is coming following two oppositions made by Ineos Industries, a maker of petrochemicals and oil products. Ineos is currently undertaking a project to build its own 4×4.
Ineos opposed was based on the fact that Land Rover’s marks had no distinctive character and cannot be graphically represented and were applied for in bad faith.
It will be recalled that Land Rover’s applications were initially objected to because of its shapes which was seen as a sport utility vehicle and devoid of any inherent distinctive character.
Land Rover further submitted evidence claiming the mark had a distinctive character and the examiner published the applications.
Allan James on behalf of the U.K. Intellectual Property Office reportedly said that “I accept that the shapes applied for look very different to those of some other types of vehicles, such as hatchbacks and sports cars, but the test is not whether the shape of a 4×4 vehicle departs significantly from the shape of a hatchback or a sports car, it must depart significantly from shapes used in any sector of the passenger car market, including the 4×4 sector”.