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Caffe Nero - Not Enough


The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has refused to register the trade marks:

and ‘CAFFE NERO

As you will know this is a large and well known coffee house based throughout the UK, and in Europe. The reasoning given by the EUIPO is that Europeans, especially Italians would understand the words Caffe Nero to mean “black coffee”. In order for a trade mark to be registrable it must be distinctive and not be descriptive. As the words are descriptive, the trade mark has been refused registration.

This is a good example of refusal to register on the basis of descriptiveness.

Our advice:
If you are launching your business make sure your trade mark/ logo is unique, and not descriptive. For example, if you have plumbing business and you call yourself Plymouth Plumbers this will not be registrable. You can still use the words but you will not receive protection for your mark and you won’t be able to prevent others from using these words under trade mark law.

Raewyn Tuffery
Solicitor (New Zealand Qualified)
raewyn.tuffery@brightllp.co.uk