BEST BUY lacks distinctiveness under EU standards

The Court of Justice held on January 13, 2011, that the sign “BEST BUY” represented below should not be granted trademark registration in classes 1, 2, 5 to 12, 14 to 17, 20, 21, 22, 28, 35, 38, 40, 41 and 42 as it was not distinctive.

For the Court, the mark was composed of English ordinary terms which exclusively indicated an advantageous link between the price of the products / services and their market value. This approach was not altered by the graphic configuration of the mark which was regarded as a simple shape. The ECJ also said to be unable to reconsider the position of the CFI as to the global appreciation of the mark as this point had no been previously raised.

This is quite a strict approach. The graphic configuration of the mark could have been regarded of minimal acceptable level. We also remain surprised that the applicant has not tried to fight the Community approach on the basis of its long and extensive use and of the recognition of the mark on the market – BEST BUY is indeed not a new comer and enjoys a certain ‘aura’ commercially speaking that could have been used as a additional argument.

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