Just published is a decision of the Court of First Instance of Paris dated March 16, 2010, which ruled the revocation of Whirlpool’s French 3D trademark (shown below). Whirlpool was suing Kenwood for trademark counterfeiting and Kenwood said the mark lacked of distinctiveness.
The Court said that the overall shape of the mark did not significantly move away from the already existing shapes of the market to consider when the mark got registered. It added that said shape presented all the functional features of the type of products in concerns. The curved aspect of the head of the product was regarded as insufficient to confer distinctiveness to the mark.
The solution is not a real surprise. But the approach applied by the Court is quite interesting as it quite reproduces the approach (and even the wording!) which is encountered in the decisions of the OHIM and Community jurisdictions dealing with the distinctiveness of 3D trademarks.