November 2018. Skin care company Beiersdorf’s 20-year-old EU registration to the Nivea trademark consisting of a blue pot (without the word Nivea) has been upheld following a decision by the Cancellation Division of the European Trademark Office EUIPO in August.

Blue pots

French cosmetics firm Diffulice, which is locked in a dispute with Nivea over several of its ‘Nivea blue’ packagings, has been trying to weaken Beiersdorf’s position by claiming that its simple blue pot should never have been accepted as a trademark since such pots are in any case widely used in the cosmetics industry.

Nivea’s original trademark registration no. 428342 has been upheld

Lack of evidence

However, when it applied for the original registration back in 1996, Beiersdorf had convinced EUIPO that its blue pot was by then so well-known that it could even be recognised by consumers without the word Nivea. EUIPO concluded that Diffulice had so far failed to show evidence to the contrary.

Positive news for shape marks

At a time when the number of European judgements against the registration of shape marks appears to be growing, it’s good to have some positive news in favour of the shape mark!