The General Court in a Decision of 11 April 2013, in case T‑294/10, dismissed the appeal brought by CBp Carbon Industries, Inc. against the decision of the OHIM Board of Appeal to refuse the registration of the community trademark “Carbon Green”. This term was intended to distinguish ‘Reclaimed rubber, namely recycled carbonaceous materials, namely, plastic, elastomeric, or rubber filled materials obtained from pyrolized tyre char and plastic, elastomeric, or rubber compounds formulated using such filler material’.

The Court stated that the expression “Carbon Green” simply describes the characteristics of the applicant’s products and, for this reason, as set forth in Article 7(1)(c), Regulation (EC) No. 207/2009, it cannot be registered as trademark.

In order to evaluate the descriptiveness of the requested trademark, the Court took into account both the perception by the relevant public of the individual words ‘Carbon’ and ‘Green’ and its perception of the sign “Carbon Green” as a whole, finding that in both cases the terms are perceived as descriptive of the goods concerned.

In particular, the Court stated that the word “Green” brings ecology to mind, thus referring to reclaimed goods, and that the word “Carbon” provides information on the composition of the goods.

Further, the Court found that the combination of the words is not sufficient to grant the trademark any degree of distinctiveness. Even if the order of the words composing the trademark is unusual and the expression “Green Carbon” has no meaning in English language, the public is induced to establish a connection between the sign and the goods concerned.