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BGH rules on Blue: Market recognition and survey tuning for single colour marks

July 2015

SMD Country Index

The German Federal Supreme Court handed down an important ruling that sheds light on the degree of reputation and acquired distinctiveness that single colour marks must meet for trademark protection. Subject of the proceedings was the well-known blue colour for the NIVEA products of German beauty care giant Beiersdorf. The court provided important guidance on the degree of market recognition and reputation a colour mark must have acquired. The court also commented on the formal requirements a reputation survey must meet.

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