back to article Would you recognise the Vans shoes logo? Neither would Euro trademark bods

Next Thursday trendy trainer firm Vans will try to persuade the European Court of Justice that it absolutely is a distinctive brand. Vans will ask the European Court of Justice to overturn the decision of the OHIM (Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market) not to grant it a trademark for its squiggly line logo. The OHIM …

Page:

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's latest Windows logo looks like a window.

    So it's not as if your trademark needs to be intricate.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Maybe they need a logo which looks like a van then.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      No, and it probably helps that it doesn't look like a window, and is therefore more unique.

  2. Timmay

    Undedicated follower of fashion

    Weird - I'm the least fashion-concious person around, and I can even picture the Vans logo without having to look it up. I thought it was quite a distinctive and well known logo, not sure why the EU (or whoever) came to a different conclusion.

    1. A Known Coward

      Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

      Which logo are we talking about? AFAIK their logo is just their name (a dictionary word) in capital letters, which isn't particularly distinctive, but neither is it a 'squiggly line' as stated in the article. Are they trying to trademark a different logo?

      1. Timmay

        Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

        The one I'm picturing (and just confirmed with a Google image search) is the word Vans with the trailing top of the V extending over the ans:

        http://fontslogo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Vans-Logo-Font.jpg

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

          The one I'm picturing (and just confirmed with a Google image search) is the word Vans with the trailing top of the V extending over the ans

          Nooope. Try this instead:

          http://cdn2.sarenza.net/static/_img/productsV4/0000004313/HD_0000004313_150354_09.jpg?201309121844

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

            @Pierre, that should be a trademark? No wonder it was rejected!

            Maybe if it was for a seaside resort or a brand of mineral water... :-S

            1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

              Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

              @Pierre, that should be a trademark? No wonder it was rejected!

              I'm not saying it should. I'm just showing what is discussed.

        2. Oninoshiko

          @timmay

          Thanks I wasn't sure if it was that logo or this one:

          http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S2kF4mVmJVQ/TZar74kKtKI/AAAAAAAAAFE/85NGWCKOdBE/s1600/vans-logo.jpg

          or maybe this

          http://logodatabases.com/vans-logo.html/vans-shoes-logo

          That said, while I didn't recognise them, they all look to me like they should qualify as distinctive.

      2. Bullseyed

        Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

        This. It says "VANS" with a line extending from the V to the end. Not sure what squiggly line thing the author is talking about here. Not sure why you'd bother publishing an article about pictures without pictures.

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

          "Not sure why you'd bother publishing an article about pictures without pictures."

          The truth in that has gained you an upvote!

        2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          Would you people pay attention and use your brain instead of Google?

          This. It says "VANS" with a line extending from the V to the end.

          NO, no, no and NO

          I think there would be absolutely no issue with that logo (or any of the ones posted by Oninoshiko).

          The one that is discussed here is the squigly line to which I posted a link, twice. Just. The. Fucking. Squiggly. Line. Did you read the article at all? Jeez!

          Actually, I don't care about the present case, I don't wear that kind of shoes, but this here thread speaks volumes: it is apparently impossible for well-meaning members of the public to associate the brand Vans with the logo they claim a trademark on.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

      >I'm the least fashion-concious person around

      Err, don't see how you can be, I've never even heard of this brand never mind being able to picture it's logo.

    3. Irongut

      Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

      " I'm the least fashion-concious person around, and I can even picture the Vans logo"

      Actually you are a dedicated follower of fashion. I have no idea what the vans logo or their footwear looks like. Having looked at the logo somone posted in reply to you my first though is cheap van hire.

      Do they make some kind of asinine overpriced trainers that the neds like?

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

        They make skate shoes. Some of you here are trying way too hard to be cool by showing just how much you don't care...

        On topic: I'd recognise their usual logo which is their name capitalized with a line extending from the 'V' over the other letters. I've never seen the 'squiggly line' logo that the article refers to.

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Undedicated follower of fashion

      You are lucky Timmay, I've never even heard of them...

  3. Uffish

    Me neither.

    Extract from a Vans description of their Vans Skink-mid mens skate shoe: -

    "Travelling along each side of the the skate shoe is a sidestripe in smooth grey leather combining a no-nonsense style with function."

    That quote describes the claimed trademark; it seems the Vans marketing people also can't recognize the Vans shoes logo.

    I've always like Vans shoes though.

    1. Can't think of anything witty...

      Re: Me neither.

      Ah, right. from that description, i think that they are trying to register the squiggle that is down the side of many of their shoes as opposed to the "Vans" word / square-root tick combination.

      the squiggle is common on a lot of their shoes, but it isn't as distinctive as the Swoosh or Addias' three stripes, so i think they might be on to a looser here...

      1. Alister Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Me neither.

        WTF is a looser?

        Do you perhaps mean loser??

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Me neither.

          Well done spotting a spelling mistake. You certainly prevented a catastrophe of global proportions there.

  4. WonkoTheSane

    "Squigly line logo"

    Google Image Search suggests the logo is an equation. "SQRT(ANS)"

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: "Squigly line logo"

      That's the only logo I've seen, and it didn't seem very squiggly to me - is there a more squiggly logo that I'm not aware of?

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: "Squigly line logo"

        Ahh.. I think Uffish has found the answer while I was looking at shoes!

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: "Squigly line logo"

        Yes there is.

        They are trying to trademark the white strip in the picture below:

        http://cdn2.sarenza.net/static/_img/productsV4/0000004313/HD_0000004313_150354_09.jpg?201309121844

        1. SolidSquid

          Re: "Squigly line logo"

          Wait, seriously? That just looks like it's a design element, like having a separate panel for the toes on a pair of boots, does anyone actually know that's unique to this brand?

          1. Squander Two

            Re: "Squigly line logo"

            Yes, it is unique to Vans. I've always thought it's a pretty crappy trademark myself, but I did use to wear skate shoes a lot and when shopping would instantly recognise Vans thanks to that mark, which is surely the point of it.

            Thinking about it now, that wishy-washy logo is one of the main reasons I've never bought Vans. It helps their shoes look bland and dull. Not the effect Vans are hoping for, presumably, but still a distinctive and recognisable mark informing my buying decisions.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Oninoshiko

          @ElReg!comments!Pierre

          Well, it doesn't look to be a functional element of the shoe. It's certainly more distinctive then the "design elements" (ie tablets that have roughly the dimensions of tablets) that apple insists they own.

  5. colin79666

    Lines

    How is this any different than a certain sportswear company trademarking three parallel lines?

  6. Velv Silver badge

    Clearly the judges don't wear "sneakers"

    If Vans can't have their version of the word Vans with a line then surely Coca-Cola can't have their comic sans logo? There are plenty of other similar word based logos that would also fail.

    1. John Bailey

      "If Vans can't have their version of the word Vans with a line then surely Coca-Cola can't have their comic sans logo? There are plenty of other similar word based logos that would also fail."

      It appears they can.. Stylised text, how ever dull, is fine.

      They can not however, have a contrasting line going from heel to toe, roughly following the contour of the top of the shoe, as it looks too much like a little bit of cosmetic greebling, and not in fact.. A logo.

      In other words.. A rare showing of common sense.

      It isn't the company name that is at issue here.. Or the use of the company name with a line.. It is in fact, a stripe on a shoe.

      A logo so minimal even Jonny Ive would have missed it if it had been put on a Braun product.

      Giving them the exclusive rights to this would be similar to granting a single car company sole use of go faster stripes.

  7. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Coat

    I suspect ford et al...

    Will complain if they cannot call a van a van :D

  8. Frogmelon

    Vans are awesome. Especially the ones with the terry towelling inner, the natural gum sole and the triple stitching. Great skate shoes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      I prefer the ones with the interior wood panelling, tool racks and flat floor.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Devil

        Whilst I prefer the ones with the roll of carpet, shovel, quickline and gaffer tape.

        Thinks: I did tick anonymouse didn't I?

    2. no-one in particular

      Skate shoes?

      Do they have sole?

      1. ukgnome Silver badge

        Re: Skate shoes?

        They do in my plaice

    3. BongoJoe

      Does anyone serious use their own shoes to go skating? Oh, I did in the early 70s when mine clagged onto my old school shoes (no-one had trainers in those days) but today's skates seem to have a shoe built onto the skatte.

      And, yes, I am less fashionable conscious than the 'least fashionable conscious' chap above. Something, perhaps, to do with my genitals being external.

      1. Fibbles

        *cough* Skateboarding... *cough*

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Great skate shoes."

      Oh, have they re-invented roller skates that strap/clamp onto your own shoes again? I thought most skates these days had the shoe and skate built as a single item.

      EDIT: Just read on and realised I was a bit late with my query. It appears "skate shoes" are for people who would like to go surfing but can't swim. :-)

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        It appears "skate shoes" are for people who would like to go surfing but can't swim

        Or it could be they're afraid of sharks...

        Alternatively they've read 'Snow Crash', and are just waiting for someone to invent the portable magnetic harpoon, before going traffic surfing at ludicrous speeds.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would it have killed El Reg to show the image in question?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yes that involves research.

  10. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    The what where when logo? Never heard of them...

  11. Disko

    No more swashes and stripes?

    I guess with swashes, stripes would also be out, so the rest of the sneaker firms as well as just about anyone with a logo that may or may not depict a recognizable item can forget about registering too then. Two arches? A wavelike shape? Just a big red star? Not good enough - I guess we all need to have something like, 12 stars on a blue background as a logo. Or 12 vultures on a red background.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a few comments asking how this is any different to, say, the Adidas three stripes or Nike swoosh?

    Well, the one thing that strikes me is that this wavy line they are claiming isn't on most of the clothes and shoes they make.

    Every Adidas product will have 3 stripes on it. Down the legs, down sleeves, on the chest as a logo, down the sides of trainers or boots. Same for Nike, the swoosh is everywhere.

    Go to the Vans website, and the Vans logo, with the V extending over the "ans" appears to be prevalent. However, this squiggly line only appears on a small selection of items. If they want to protect the trademark, shouldn't they actually use it themselves?

    It also appears that Vans themselves aren't entirely sure of the design they want to protect, as some shoes clearly have different wavy lines on them. Click on mens' shoes and sitting next to each other (when I did it anyway) are the "Old Skool Shoes" and "Sk8-Hi MTE Shoes". The lines down the sides are similar, but not the same.

    Maybe the Eurocrats thought the same... you don't use it all the time and when you do, you're not sure what shape to make it.

    1. Squander Two

      > this wavy line they are claiming isn't on most of the clothes and shoes they make.

      And? Why would you even begin to think that was relevant to trademark law?

      In fact, most clothing manufacturers don't put their logos on most of their clothes (unless you count the internal label). Putting a logo on the outside has become popular in sportswear circles, but, for instance, Next make shoes, put their logo on (I believe) zero of those shoes, and still have their logo recognised as a trademark.

    2. noboard

      Blimey

      Just taken a look at the site and the line really isn't uniform is it. It's as if they've looked at the tech industry, seen what passes as patent-able in the States and thought "I want some of that". Nice to see Europe kick it out, but for how long? Lawyers need to earn their megabucks somehow.

    3. Squander Two

      > some shoes clearly have different wavy lines on them. ... The lines down the sides are similar, but not the same.

      Been and checked this now. Also went and checked Nike's and Reebok's sites. In all three cases, the logo is different on different shoes, variations on basically the same shape. I could certainly understand any decision that said "THIS version is your trademark and variations on it are not", but only if it applied to everyone equally.

      Also, Nike put their squiggly line on all their shoes (that I saw), but both Vans and Reebok have a lot of models without their squiggly lines.

      So, whatever you may think, I doubt either of those criiteria are the basis of the ECJ's decision.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019