You can’t trademark your bottle shape, EU court tells Coca Cola

Coca Cola bottles are not distinctive enough to be trademarked, an EU court ruled on Tuesday, rejecting a complaint brought by the U.S. drinks giant against the bloc’s trademark authority.

Coca Cola had applied in 2011 for its plastic, glass and metallic bottle design to be trademarked across the European Union, arguing that the shape in question is a “natural evolution” of the iconic bottles its drinks are known by, according to a court statement.

But the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), found the shape to be devoid of any distinctive character that would justify a trademark.

The EU’s General Court backed OHIM’s decision, stating that the Coca Cola bottle “does not possess any characteristics that distinguish it from other bottles available on the market,” the statement said.

The decision can be challenged before the European Court of Justice, the bloc’s top arbiter.


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