Microsoft's latest Windows logo looks like a window.
So it's not as if your trademark needs to be intricate.
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 …
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?
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:
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:
Thanks I wasn't sure if it was that logo or this one:
or maybe this
That said, while I didn't recognise them, they all look to me like they should qualify as distinctive.
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.
" 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?
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.
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.
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...
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.
"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.
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.
"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. :-)
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
> 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.
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