October 2017
Is a computer game trailer a trademark?
New rules apply for the EU trademark system. The first part of these amended rules.

New rules apply for the EU trademark system. The first part of these amended rules entered into force in March 2016, the second part in October 2017.

One of the interesting recent changes is the abolishment of the graphic representation requirement for EU TM applications. The reasoning behind the graphic representation requirement was that the public should always be able to perceive what was applied for (and thus for which sign protection is sought) and such should be clear from the trademark database. Nowadays, as modern means of telecommunication offer new manners to display the mark in searchable databases and such novelty is already acknowledged by case law, the legislator abolished this principle.

Since October 1, last, a trademark applicant is allowed to upload an mp4 file as a “multimedia” trademark. Turnstone noticed the first applications for these kind of trademarks, including 20 seconds of a quite violent computer game trailer.

The complete application can be viewed via https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/#details/trademarks/017282203.

Although this is certainly a creative and inventive trademark application, we doubt whether the application will be accepted by EU IPO. As mentioned above, the underlying concept of a trademark database is that the public can review the (exact) sign for which protection is sought. But for which sign is protection sought in a 20 seconds game trailer and will the public perceive these 20 seconds as a trademark?

It will be interesting to learn how EU IPO will decide on these kind of “multimedia” trademarks.