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Red Card for FC Barcelona

Professional football club FC Barcelona has been denied a Community trademark (CTM) covering the shape of the club’s crest by the EU General Court.

The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market’s (OHIM) rejected Barcelona’s CTM application in May 2014. The club first applied for protection in 2013. The football club appealed against the decision, but failed to convince the court to overturn the ruling.

The court upheld OHIM decision to reject the mark on the grounds that the shape does not communicate to consumers the original source of the product.

“None of the characteristics of the sign at issue contains any striking feature which is able to attract the attention of consumers. In fact, the mark sought will rather tend to be perceived by consumers merely as a shape and will not enable them to distinguish the proprietor’s goods or services from those of other undertakings,” the court wrote in a statement issued in 10th December 2015.

FC Barcelona could still use the outline of its shield as an unregistered device and then seek at a later date to register it as a trade mark, on the basis that its use of the outline has become distinctive. All this done by BS research team.