Not distinctive

Only there does it go wrong. The European trademark office EUIPO sees nothing in the trademark registration of the icons. In recent weeks the refusals have been trickling in. According to EUIPO, the icons are not distinctive. The image does not deviate from what you normally see with fitness apps: just a drawn image of what you hope to achieve with fitness. Therefore, the public will not see the icons as a trademark and registration for fitness services will therefore not go through.

Fitness iconen

Boundaries are blurred

Was that to be expected? Yes, kind of. You just know if your figurative mark refers to the service or product for which it should be registered, there is a good chance that the registration will be refused for lack of distinctive character. Anyway, you don’t know for sure either, because the boundaries are vague and the assessment is also somewhat subjective. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the Canadians made an attempt to register the icon. He who does not dare does not win.

Iconen fitness

30 at a time

What I do find crazy is that this company then makes the decision to apply for 30 or so of these brands at once. If you know there is a chance of refusal, why not just start with one: just see if it works. If it goes well, you can apply for the rest quite safely. If it goes wrong, then you stop.

Double bad luck

The Canadians are doubly unlucky: not only do their icons not get trademark protection for fitness services, but they also lose a lot of money. Because if your trademark registration is denied you won’t get your money back. A rough estimate is that this entire European registration process will quickly cost them €60,000 to €70,000. And then you end up without the desired European protection. A real shame.

Bas Kist