Amicus Brief

Cases R 1719/2019-5 and R 1922/2019-5, The Estate of the Late Sonia Brownell Orwell ./. EUIPO

Published: March 3, 2021


Grand Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office

Our Position

Titles of famous literary and artistic works should not be excluded from trademark protection per se, or subject to special treatment that is more severe than that applied to other potential trademarks. The court or tribunal should carry out a case-by-case assessment, taking into account all the circumstances of the case and that public perception may vary over time. A book title by its nature does not necessarily describe any kind of goods or services and famous titles are not descriptive because of their fame per se. Even if the EUIPO were to find, under absolute grounds of refusal, that the mark at issue was not distinctive, the applicant would be entitled to establish acquired distinctiveness through use.