TEXTO lacks distinctiveness

On January 29, 2008, the Paris Court of First Instance cancelled the trademark TEXTO for non distinctiveness. This mark was held by SFR, one of the leaders of cellular phone services in France, and covered “written message services by radio-telephone”. SFR was suing the owner of the marks ONE TEXTO, ONE TEXTO PETITES ANNONCES and the domain name www.onetexto.com, for trademark infringement.
To rule the necessary character of the mark in the current language, the judge took into account several press articles containing the word “texto” in relation to SMS (Short Message Service) used by all cellular phone users whatever the operator, all being dated before the mark TEXTO was filed..
Very surprisingly, SFR did not raise the acquired distinctiveness of the mark TEXTO. Its long and intensive use could have enabled to consider the mark in concerns as necessarily originating from SFR.
An appeal has been lodged against the above decision. We will monitor the proceeding and report accordingly.

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