IEF 16706

EFTA over openbare orde-beperking in het merkenrecht voor (bekende) beeldhouwwerken waarop geen auteursrecht meer rust

EFTA Court 6 april 2017, IEF 16706; IEFbe 2134; Case E-5/16 (Vigeland Park) Merkenrecht. EFTA (Europese Vrijhandelsorganisatie). Het Noorse Hof van Beroep voor Intellectuele Eigendomsrechten (Klagenemnda for industrielle rettigheter) heeft vragen gesteld over weigeren van een teken bestaande uit een kunstwerk, Vigeland Park, dat in het pubieke domein valt als merk vanwege openbare orde of de geaccepteerde moraal [gestelde vragen IEF 15907]. EFTA:

1. The registration  as a trade mark of a sign which consists of works for which the copyright protection period has expired, is not in itself contrary to public policy or accepted principles of morality within the meaning of Article 3(1)(f) of Directive 2008/95/EC.

2. Whether registration for signs that consist of works of art as a trade mark shall be refused on the basis of
accepted principles of morality within  the  meaning  of Article  3(1)(f)  of Directive 2008/95/EC depends, in particular, on the status or perception of the artwork in the relevant EEA State.
The risk of misappropriation or desecration of a work may be relevant in this assessment.
3. Registration  of a sign  may only  be  refused  on  basis  of  the  public policy   exception   provided   for   in   Article   3(1)(f) of   Directive 2008/95/EC, if the sign consists exclusively of a work pertaining to the  public  domain and registration  of  this  sign would constitute  a genuine and sufficiently serious threat to a fundamental interest of society.
4. Article  3(1)(e)(iii)  of  Directive 2008/95/EC may  apply  to  two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional shapes, including sculptures.
5. Article 3(1)(c) of Directive 2008/95/EC must be interpreted as being applicable to two-dimensional
and three-dimensional representations of the shape of a good.

Gestelde vragen:

1. May trademark registration of copyright works, for which the protection period has expired, under certain circumstances, conflict with the prohibition in Article 3(1)(f) of the Trade Marks Directive on registering trademarks that are contrary to 'public policy or … accepted principles of morality'?

2. If question 1 is answered in the affirmative, will it have an impact on the assessment that the copyright work is well-known and of great cultural value?

3. If question 1 is answered in the affirmative, may factors or criteria other than those mentioned in question 2 have a bearing on the assessment, and, if so, which ones?

4. Is Article 3(1)(e)(iii) of Directive 2008/95/EC applicable to two-dimensional representations of sculptures?

5. Is Article 3(1)(c) of Directive 2008/95/EC applicable as legal authority for refusing trademarks that are two or three-dimensional representations of the shape or appearance of the goods?

6. If question 5 is answered in the affirmative, is Article 3(1)(b) and (c) of Directive 2008/95/EC to be understood to mean that the national registration authority, in assessing trademarks that consist of two or three-dimensional representations of the shape or appearance of the goods, must apply the assessment criterion of whether the design in question departs significantly from the norm or customs of the business sector, or may the grounds for refusal be that such a mark is descriptive of the shape or appearance of the goods?