Novartis AG recently applied for a Danish trademark registration in Class 5 for a patch used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The design consists of a thin, transdermal patch comprising of a square with a circular section in the middle surrounded by 15 small dots.

The trademark was registered as Community Trademark Registration 11293362, but the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market's cancellation division declared the registration invalid, as the trademark did not possess any sufficiently specific or arbitrary characteristics. The decision was appealed.

The Danish Trademark Office also rejected the registration as the mark was not found to have sufficient distinctiveness and this decision was confirmed by the Board of Patents and Trademarks Appeals.(1)

Information was supplied to show that the trademark had been registered as an appellation of origin in Germany, Norway, Turkey and Benelux.

However, the Maritime and Commercial Court also agreed that the trademark lacked distinctiveness and as no evidence was produced to show that the trademark was well known among consumers, the court found for the Board of Patents and Trademarks Appeals and consequently the mark was denied registration as a trademark.(2)

For further information on this topic please contact Mads Marstrand-Jørgensen at NJORD Law Firm by telephone (+45 33 12 45 22) or email ( The NJORD Law Firm website can be accessed at


(1) Novartis AG v Danish Board of Patents and Trademarks Appeals.

(2) Maritime and Commercial Court, Case V-33-14, June 22 2015 Judgment.

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