Companies tend to register this kind of ‘stripped-down’ logo to stretch the range of their protection. This trademark registration would make it easier for Chiquita to act against other companies who free-load by using a similar logo but with different text. Losing this European registration is a big dent in the protection of the Chiquita trademark.
According to EUIPO, the logo is ‘excessively simple’, consisting only of basic geometric shapes, namely two ovals and the ‘everyday’ colours yellow and blue. You cannot classify something as simple as this image as ‘distinctive’; it should never have been registered.
Market research dismissed
EUIPO dismissed Chiquita’s market research, which was supposed to show that the logo has acquired distinctiveness: the study concerns a small group of people in only four of the 27 EU countries. That is not sufficient to prove distinctiveness across the whole of the EU, according to EUIPO.