KÄOSAAR successfully contested refusal to register the trademark Rehvid24
Estonia’s leading retailer and wholesaler of car tyres, Rehvid24 OÜ, secured a victory over the Estonian Patent Office in the case of registration of the trademark Rehvid24. The Patent Office denied registration of the mark as being descriptive and lacking distinctiveness, and indicating that car tyres and related services were offered around the clock. KÄOSAAR appealed the Office decision to the Industrial Property Board of Appeal in the name of Rehvid24 OÜ.
The Board of Appeal decided to grant the appeal. The decision explains that for a trademark to be denied registration, the mark as a whole should lack distinctiveness or be descriptive. The Board found that in case of a combined designation, each component in isolation being descriptive is insufficient grounds for deeming the trademark as descriptive. Because the designation as a whole is not a common or expected way to express the offering, producing or delivery time of the goods or services, the Board found that denial of registration was not justified, thus annulling the decision of the Patent Office.
This decision is noteworthy in that it points out the Office’s duty to initialize the collection of evidence for the examination of a trademark. If no such evidence is found, the applicant is not obligated to prove lack of distinctive character.