On June 20 and 30, 2008, the First Board of Appeal of the OHIM declared the Community trademarks WORLD CUP GERMANY, WORLD CUP 2006, WM 2006, GERMANY 2006 and WORLD CUP 2006 GERMANY as invalid.
For the Board, these signs are exclusively descriptive indications of the goods and services claimed, which must remain available for competitors. In fact, the evidence submitted by FIFA showed that the signs themselves were recognised as indicators of origin.
Considering the strict distinctiveness criteria that are usually applied by OHIM, the solution is not really surprising. More surprising is the fact that such marks passed the exam stage and that the Cancellation Division then regarded them as evocative.