The Court gives a ruling for the first time on the registration of a sound mark submitted in audio format

(Source: Court of Justice of the EU)

An audio file containing the sound made by the opening of a drinks can, followed by silence and a
fizzing sound, cannot be registered as a trade mark in respect of various drinks and for metal
containers for storage or transport, in so far as it is not distinctive

Ardagh Metal Beverage Holdings GmbH & Co. KG filed an application for registration of a sound
sign as an EU trade mark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). That sign,
submitted as an audio file, recalls the sound made by a drinks can being opened, followed by a
silence of approximately one second and a fizzing sound lasting approximately nine seconds.
Registration was sought in respect of various drinks and metal containers for storage or transport.

EUIPO rejected the application for registration on the ground that the mark applied for was not
distinctive.

In its judgment, the Court dismisses the action brought by Ardagh Metal Beverage Holdings and
gives a ruling for the first time on the registration of a sound mark submitted in audio format. It
clarifies the criteria for assessing the distinctive character of sound marks and the perception of
those marks in general by consumers.

Full Press Release – 120/2021 : 7 July 2021 – Judgment of the General Court in case T-668/19

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