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EU trade mark HP not descriptive, sufficiently distinctive and registered in good faith

Print this page 03-05-2018
IPPT20180424, General Court EU, Senetic v EUIPO

Trade Mark LawSenetic filed an application for a declaration of invalidity of the EU trade mark registrations of HP on the grounds that the marks were descriptive, lacked distinctiveness and that the registration of the marks was done in bad faith. 


The actions brought before the General Court by Senetic were dismissed. The Court states that it cannot be generally asserted that a mark is descriptive simply because it consists of only one or two letters. Senetic did not provide sufficient evidence to establish a sufficiently direct and specific relationship between the HP sign and the goods and services in question.


Furthermore, the Court does not think that there is a lack of distinctiveness because the mark is composed of elements lacking distinctive character. As the relevant public can understand the letters of the mark as referring to the surnames of the company founders (Hewlett and Packard) the lack of distinctive character cannot be accepted. 


Lastly, the registration of the mark by HP was not done in bad faith; there is no evidence provided that HP knew or should have known of the use of the sign by third parties and there is no evidence of the use of the sign itself at the time of filing the application. 


The General Court therefore upholds the trade mark and dismisses the actions of Senetic. 


T-207/17 – ECLI:EU:T:2018:215 & T-208/17 – ECLI:EU:T:2018:216


Read the press release here