November 2018. Bed manufacturer Hästens has failed to register its blue-and-white checked bed-base cover as a European trademark. The reason? Consumers would primarily have seen the pattern as a decorative or style element rather than as a trademark, the Board of Appeal of the European Trademark Office EUIPO concluded on 8 August.
The rejected Hästens pattern, trademark application no. 1340047
Pattern trademarks binned
In common with trademarks based on the shape of a product or its packaging, these ‘pattern trademarks’ are having a rough time in European trademark offices. EUIPO accepts very few of them and as often as not relegates such applications to the wastepaper bin. Below are some other examples of unsuccessful patterns.
Unsuccessful pattern trademarks: floral motif for a mobile phone cover, coloured band for tents, diamond motif for shoes (Vans)
This is a heavy blow for Hästens, given that the blue-and-white checked pattern is what distinguishes the brand. It’s therefore likely the bed manufacturer will go to appeal.