Extension of the protection to Hungary for the international mark “Manhattan Supersize Seductive Eyes” for cosmetics was refused by the Office.
The latter said that the mark refers to the geographic origin and the consumers believe that the mark refers to American quality. The French applicant filed request for review.
The Metropolitan Tribunal annulled the decision. The Tribunal said that Manhattan is an important part of New York City known as an emblematic center of the world of fashion but it is not true that in Manhattan there would be produced eye make-up products which would be distinguished from identical goods produced in other countries. The fact that the applicant’s nationality is not conform with the name used in the mark in itself is not sufficient for the refusal of the protection, if there is no risk of confusion. As a result the Tribunal ordered the Office to perform a new examination. (3.Pk.20.004/2015)
After a renewed examination the Office granted the protection for Hungary.
Refusal of applications with geographic elements is a well-established practice in order to prevent the deception of consumers.
The Office is rather strict in this respect and this is right. When a Hungarian company filed the term Oktoberfest known for the Munich Beer Festivals for beer produced in Hungary, the refusal was approved by the Tribunal as well as by the Court of Appeal.
But in respect of eye make up products for the production of which Manhattan is not famous, the refusal is either not convincing or it ought to be explained more in details. I find it rejoicing, that the Office accepted the opinion of the Tribunal, which is not always the case.