SPAM lacks distinctiveness for computer and communication services

On July 19, 2006, the OHIM Board of Appeals confirmed the Examiner rejection of the word mark SPAM in classes 36, 38 and 42 for lack of distinctiveness.

For individuals familiar with the use of computers and interested in networking and electronic communications, SPAM would unambiguously indicate services that are intended to guarantee spam free communication and thus describe the characteristic and intended purpose of said services.

The OHIM position is however highly based on the specification of the mark. The applicant sought registration for services related to computer programming, computer software, networks and engineering. He consequently fell inside the spam band. Without such precisions, the word mark SPAM could have been regarded as distinctive

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