Ford Fights for Fun in Europe
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The company has been in a battle with the European Union Trademark office over the word “FUN” for almost four years (more precisely, since 2005). However, the EU trademark agency has refused the request a year later, explaining the word “FUN” wasn't an inventive word at all because it described the experience of driving a Ford vehicle.
Moreover, the Alicante, Spain-based trademark agency claimed that in 2006, the main target audience of the Detroit-based company was composed of English-speaking persons, aged between 18 and 70. Yet, as long as word “FUN” belongs to the basic English vocabulary, is it fair to deny its use to other traders and advertisers? As far as the Alicante agency is concerned, the answer is no. The agency added that Ford's main target audience “will take the word ‘fun’ as an indication that the car has a fun design and is enjoyable to drive.
Fortunately for the American carmaker, the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, which happens to be the main appeals tribunal for decisions by the EU agency overturned the decision two days ago. The link between the happy word and vehicles “is to vague and subjective to give the word a descriptive character in connection with the relevant products”, the Court stated (via Bloomberg).
However, as for the final sentence, only the EU's highest court, meaning the European Court of Justice is to have the last word.
So much struggle for a word makes us wonder: would Ford sell more cars if it adopts the happy formula?!
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