Climate/environmental neutrality are advertising buzzwords used to express the environmental credentials of a company. They can be found in advertisements as well as on the products themselves. Whether and when such claims are exaggerated and may mislead consumers is currently being clarified by the courts. A status update is therefore in order.
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.
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?
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.
Certification marks, a concept introduced in the European Union on 1 October 2017, are intended in and of themselves, as a way to indicate the quality guarantee of a product. Attempting to do this – communicate the quality guarantee for a product – by using an individual trade mark instead, is a risky undertaking.
A symbol of a company’s green credentials can attract customers. Under what circumstances could such terms be used in advertising? And can they be protected as a trademark?
Every company wants to present itself as sustainable and environmentally friendly. Brands that suggest this, or that can validly make this claim, benefit from greater popularity. Brands that score highly in terms of sustainability often achieve more sales. Yet why do these projects so often fail? And why do they fall short of providing the necessary value, given the money that has been invested in them? That’s what a well-known shirt manufacturer has recently had to find out.