EUIPO: Euro­pean Uni­on Trade­mark “Spuck­schutz” (spit pro­tec­tion) can­cel­led for the time being

Gyr­ciz­ka KG from Aus­tria deman­ded up to EUR 16,000 in warning cos­ts from com­pa­nies that offe­red a “Spuck­schutz” (spit pro­tec­tion), the screen inten­ded to ensu­re more secu­ri­ty on shop coun­ters in times of Coro­na. In 2013, the adver­ti­sing com­pa­ny had the word “Spuck­schutz” regis­tered with the Euro­pean Trade­mark Office as a trade­mark for show­ca­ses and war­ned com­pa­nies that offe­red pro­tec­ti­ve screens for retailers.

For deca­des, howe­ver, various tra­de and hygie­ne regu­la­ti­ons have sti­pu­la­ted that, for examp­le, when unpa­cka­ged food is pre­sen­ted, a – liter­al­ly – “Spuck­schutz” must be atta­ched. The word “Spuck­schutz”, as a pure gene­ric name, should hence not have been pro­tec­ted as a trade­mark at all, sin­ce ever­yo­ne must be free to desi­gna­te a pro­duct for what it is.

After several requests for can­cel­la­ti­on were made against the trade­mark, the request made by patent attor­ney Ulrich Kreut­zer has now been gran­ted and the trade­mark has been can­ce­led in accordance with the request.

The trade­mark owner has, howe­ver, appealed against the decisi­on so that the screens, which are sup­po­sed to keep the ine­vi­ta­ble dro­p­lets out when spea­king, should keep the courts busy even after they have hope­ful­ly long sin­ce disap­peared in many shops.

Source: https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/#details/trademarks/W01179336