Uniqueness and memorability are the benchmark for environmental slogans. It is not easy to achieve this, but when the environmental slogan works, it communicates in a way that is hard to beat. And if it can do so exclusively, it becomes part of that brand. Stadtwerke Berlin [Municipal Utilities Berlin] believed it was home and dry with its slogan. And rightly so?
Developing a protectable lifestyle brand is not easy. On the one hand, it should convey a clear message that benefits the company. On the other hand, it should be able to be protected as a trade mark. In practice, it is a balancing act! The case below provides some guidance.
A cultural institution may try to position its unique structure as a cultural brand within the framework of cultural marketing. Strong cultural brands attract a lot of attention and engender particularly positive images. Customers, business partners and sponsors can form a quick connection with such brands and images. Is it possible to harness the power of cultural brands for the benefit of a variety of businesses?
It is not unusual for a company to develop a trademark that contains references to its product or service. However, in order to be protected, trademarks must not contain an inherently intelligible description of the essential characteristics of those goods or services. So what might these characteristics comprise?
Food should ideally be natural, organic and healthy, and the word ‘green’ is often appropriate when referring to such qualities. But can a trademark for healthy food that contains the word ‘green’ be registered?
Everyone knows Emmentaler – the famous, delicious cheese with the cherry-sized holes and the nutty taste. It was even around in the Middle Ages! Could its name ‘Emmentaler’ be protected as a collective trademark for the members of an association?
Signs that use the term ‘gourmet’ are very popular in relation to food products, not least because they indicate a higher-quality item. However, as an EU trademark, these signs have already been refused 50 times – because they are classed as advertising material only. They praise one’s own products, but they do not indicate the product’s origin as coming from a specific company.
Designations that describe products or services in some way are not classed as distinctive, as is well known, and therefore cannot be registered as a trademark. However, it is possible to overcome this obstacle to protection – provided the designation has acquired distinctive character before it is registered. What exactly must be done to achieve protectability from a trademark through use?
A sign that directly and immediately indicates a particular feature of a product cannot be used as a trademark. However, could a sign be designed to communicate something more by simply adding a graphic?
A great environmental slogan as part of one’s brand can be a game changer. Ultimately, it helps the general public remember a company’s core message about its products or services. However, one can also encounter limitations when attempting to build such a brand monopoly.