Thursday, December 15, 2005

Coca Cola sues TRAB for refusal to register Fanta bottle shape as trade mark

On 28 November 2005, Coca-Cola brought an action in the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, asking the Court to overrule TRAB's decision. The main feature of the Fanta bottle is the design of densely-distributed prism stripes surrounding the lower part of the bottle. Coca-Cola indicated that such shape is distinctive of "Fanta" soft drinks and has come to be associated with Fanta in the mind of the public.

"Its distinctiveness has been recognised in many other countries by registration as a three-dimensional trade mark.

To prove the design's originality, Coca-Cola's agent demonstrated 10 other drink bottles at trial.
He noted that drink companies compete fiercely with each other and put a lot effort into the design of their drink bottles. TRAB responded, through its attorney, by arguing that the design of the "Fanta" soft drink bottle is basically simple and lacks uniqueness. It is difficult to distinguish the Fanta bottle from other bottles on the market. The prism stripes stressed by Coca Cola are widely-used as a means of preventing bottles from slipping. In summary, the design of the Fanta bottle is devoid of originality."

The decision of the Court is pending.

Source: Rouse & Co. International China IP Express

No comments: