Gezin Not Distinctive?

Naturally, there was dismay in the Croatian Gezin family. How can a strange word like GEZIN not be a distinctive trademark for clothing? EUIPO explains why the trademark can not be registered. Firstly, when assessing any European trademark application, all 27 European countries must be considered. If a trademark is purely descriptive in the language of even one country, it does not get European registration.


Clothing for the Whole Family

Next, EUIPO turns its attention to the Netherlands. In Dutch the word ‘gezin’ means ‘family’, as the trademark office points out. And that, according to EUIPO, is the problem. If the Dutch consumer sees the clothing brand GEZIN, they might think it refers to clothing made for the whole family to wear, says EUIPO. Or the consumer might think that the clothing can be bought in a special family section of the store. Therefore, according to the trademark office, the trademark GEZIN describes a characteristic or feature of the product and is not distinctive: no registration!

Family Underwear

Pfff, this seems a bit far-fetched to me. Will the consumer really think that clothing labeled with the brand GEZIN (=FAMILY) is meant to be worn by the whole family? Have you ever bought clothing for the entire family? On Monday, mother wears the underwear, little Johannes gets his turn on Wednesday, Sunday is, of course, for father, a quick wash, and then the new week is already upon us.

And have you ever seen, besides the women’s, men’s, and children’s sections, a section in a clothing store meant for the whole family? If I were Filip Gezin, I would definitely consider appealing. There seem to be some opportunities here.

Bas Kist


Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash