On March 9, 2011, the General Court confirmed that the word Community trademark ‘5 HTP’ should be cancelled because it lacked distinctiveness. The mark belonged to Longevity Health Products Inc. It was registered since January 13, 2004, in class 5 and notably for ‘pharmaceutical and veterinary products’.
The General Court pointed out that ‘5 HTP’ would be perceived as a courant abbreviation of a chemical formulae which would have no impact or possible importance for the relevant public for the purpose of identifying the products at hands. It also considered that the mark was had been used on the marked in a descriptive way by its owner for indicating the active principle of the products.
The cancellation of registered pharmaceutical trademarks on the Community being quite rare this one was worth mentioning. The case still switches on some warning as to the presentation to adopt for pharmaceutical products and the legal considerations to preserves over the sole marketing considerations.
The decision being not available in English (but in French), feel free to contact us if there is anything further needed relating thereto.