Date of decision: 23.01.18

Reg 207/2009

Application

Swissgear

  • electronic travel accessories (9)
  • vehicles, buggies and accessories (12)
  • watches of Swiss origin (14)
  • leather passport holders (16)
  • luggage and bags (18)
  • sleeping eqipment for travelling or camping (20)
  • tents (22)
  • clothing (25)

Commentary

The GC upheld the BoA's decision that the mark was descriptive and lacked distinctive character pursuant to Arts 7(1)(b) and 7(1)(c). 

The BoA was correct to find that the terms SWISS and GEAR were both individually descriptive with regard to the goods applied for because the term SWISS indicated geographical origin generally and because the term GEAR had a broad meaning and would be understood to refer to a wide range of belongings, equipment and accessories.

As regards the term SWISSGEAR, although this was a neologism, it was composed of elements that were descriptive of the goods at issue and the combination of those two descriptive terms was not of an unusual nature which was capable of diverting the relevant public's attention from those two descriptive terms. As such the BoA was correct to find that the term SWISSGEAR was descriptive of the goods at issue.

On the basis of the descriptive nature of the mark, there was no requirement for the BoA to consider registrability under Art 7(1)(b).