Since last month, Unilever’s Magnum® ice cream is available in a limited edition “Mauritshuis Collection” variety. The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, one of the Mauritshuis’ international top pieces, forms the central part of this rather tasty brand extension.
According to Turnstone research, the foundation which operates the Mauritshuis has duly applied for a EUTM registration for the mark MAURITSHUIS for (i.a.) edible ices in Class 30.
While the painting of The Girl with the Pearl Earring – for obvious reasons – fall outside of copyright protection, one does wonder whether Mauritshuis might not want to strengthen its trademark protection by applying for Vermeer’s Girl as a device mark. After all, it could very well be argued that the picture of the Girl on the luxury ice cream product will not be seen as merely decorative, but in this particular case also indicates origin (namely, that of Unilever and Mauritshuis).
In any event, this forms an interesting brand extension by Mauritshuis, and shows that the museum not only is well-versed in history, but also has a good vision of the future!