By type. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 are excluded from registration marks, "Which consist exclusively of signs or indications, in trade, to designate the kind, the nature, amount, determining, the value, geographical origin or the time of production of goods or of rendering of the service, or other characteristics of the goods or service '. In Art. 7 Abs. 2 of Regulation No. 207/2009 it is also, that "[d]ie Vorschriften des Absatzes 1 … auch dann Anwendung [Quote], if the registrability obtain in only part of the Community ".
JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Second Chamber)
14. More 2013(*)
„Gemeinschaftsmarke – Anmeldung der Gemeinschaftswortmarke fluege.de – Absolute Eintragungshindernisse – Beschreibender Charakter – Fehlende Unterscheidungskraft – Durch Benutzung erworbene Unterscheidungskraft – Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. b und c, 2 and 3 Regulation (EG) No.. 207/2009“
In Case T-244/12
Unister GmbH based in Leipzig (Germany), Represented: Rechtsanwalt H. Hug und Rechtsanwältin A. Kessler-Jensch,
Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Brands, Marks and Designs) (OHIM), vertreten durch D. Walicka als Bevollmächtigte,
ACTION brought against the decision of the First Board of Appeal of OHIM of 14. March 2012 (Sache R 2149/2011‑1) concerning registration of the word sign as a Community trade fluege.de
DAS GERICHT (Second Chamber)
unter Mitwirkung des Präsidenten N. J. Forwood sowie der Richter F. Dehousse (Reporter) und J. Schwarcz,
Chancellor: It. Coulon,
on the basis of the 30. More 2012 lodged at the Registry of the Court application,
on the basis of the 6. September 2012 lodged at the Registry of the Court defense,
due to the fact, that none of the parties within the period of one month from notification, that the written procedure, has applied for a hearing, und des daher auf Bericht des Berichterstatters gemäß Art. 135a der Verfahrensordnung des Gerichts ergangenen Beschlusses, to decide without an oral hearing,
Background to the dispute
1 At the 27. January 2011 notified the applicant, Unister GmbH, according to Regulation (EG) No.. 207/2009 Rates of vom 26. February 2009 on the Community trade (ABl. The 78, S. 1) Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Brands, Marks and Designs) (OHIM) a Community trade mark.
3 Die Marke wurde für Waren und Dienstleistungen der Klassen 25, 28, 35, 39, 41 and 43 the Nice Agreement of 15. June 1957 registered on the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Registration of Marks, as revised and amended.
– Klasse 35: "Advertising; Management; Company management; Office work ";
– Klasse 39: "Transportation; Packaging and storage of goods; Travel arrangement ';
– Klasse 43: "Services for providing food and drink; Services for temporary accommodation '.
5 By decision of 22. August 2011 wies die Prüferin die Anmeldung der Marke gemäß Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. b und c und Abs. 2 of Regulation No. 207/2009 back in relation to the services in question on the grounds, it is descriptive and mangle it to their distinctive.
Forms of order sought
– die angefochtene Entscheidung aufzuheben;
– dem HABM die Kosten aufzuerlegen.
– die Klage abzuweisen;
– der Klägerin die Kosten aufzuerlegen.
10 Die Klägerin stützt ihre Klage auf drei Klagegründe, mit denen sie erstens einen Verstoß gegen Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009, zweitens einen Verstoß gegen Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. b dieser Verordnung und drittens die durch Benutzung der angemeldeten Marke erworbene Unterscheidungskraft geltend macht.
The first plea, mit dem ein Verstoß gegen Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 alleging
11 Die Klägerin wendet sich gegen die Feststellung der Beschwerdekammer, that the mark was descriptive. The term "auto recycling" if it were a word formation, The German language is alien, in which it is submitted that only the term "flights", of having the letter "u", with the result, that will be due to the unusual spelling of the term "auto recycling" the average consumer in the mark is to indicate the commercial origin.
12 Der Durchschnittsverbraucher sei daran gewöhnt, even in a domain name of the second stage, the will formed from a generic term, to find an internet portal, which is operated by a single commercial provider. In the present case concerns with the term "auto recycling" in view of its unusual spelling not even a generic expression. OHIM had not taken into account, that since 2004 Domain names may be registered using special characters such as the letter "u".
13 Selbst wenn die maßgeblichen Verkehrskreise die Anmeldemarke im Sinne eines auf eine deutsche Internetadresse hinweisenden Domänennamens verstehen würden, flights would be offered under the, had the services in any or. not sufficiently related to the offer of flights to. Im vorliegenden Fall bestehe kein Freihaltebedürfnis im Sinne von Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009.
15 Es ist daran zu erinnern, that the type. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 are excluded from registration marks, "Which consist exclusively of signs or indications, in trade, to designate the kind, the nature, amount, determining, the value, geographical origin or the time of production of goods or of rendering of the service, or other characteristics of the goods or service '. In Art. 7 Abs. 2 of Regulation No. 207/2009 it is also, that "[d]ie Vorschriften des Absatzes 1 … auch dann Anwendung [Quote], if the registrability obtain in only part of the Community ".
16 Nach der Rechtsprechung verhindert Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009, that the signs and indications referred to in this clause shall be subject to registration as a trade mark because of their one company. The provision thus pursues an objective in the public interest, which requires, that such signs or indications may be freely used by all (Judgment of the Court of 23. October 2003, HABM/Wrigley, C‑191/01 P, Slg. 2003, I‑12447, Paragraph. 31, Judgments of the Court of 27. February 2002, They / HABM [THEM], T‑219/00, Slg. 2002, II‑753, Paragraph. 27, and from 7. July 2011, Cree/HABM [TRUEWHITE], T‑208/10, not published in the ECR, Paragraph. 12).
17 Außerdem werden Zeichen oder Angaben, which may serve in trade to designate characteristics of the goods or services, for which registration is sought, gemäß Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 als ungeeignet angesehen, of performing the essential function of the mark, is the, to identify the commercial origin of the goods or services, to allow the consumer, acquires the goods or services to which the mark, thus enabling, to make its decision at a subsequent acquisition depends, if he has had good or bad experiences (Judgments OHIM / Wrigley, oben and Randnr. 16 cited, Paragraph. 30, und TRUEWHITE, oben and Randnr. 16 cited, Paragraph. 13).
18 Folglich fällt ein Zeichen unter das in dieser Bestimmung aufgestellte Verbot, if there is a sufficiently direct and specific reference to having the goods or services, that allows the public concerned, to recognize a description of the goods or services in question or one of its features immediately, without further thought (vgl. Judgment TRUEWHITE, oben and Randnr. 16 cited, Paragraph. 14 and cases cited therein).
19 Ob ein Zeichen beschreibend ist, can also be assessed only in terms of its perception by the relevant public in relation to the goods and services concerned (vgl. Judgments of the Court of 27. February 2002, Eurocool Logistik/HABM [EUROCOOL], T‑34/00, Slg. 2002, II‑683, Paragraph. 38, und TRUEWHITE, oben and Randnr. 16 cited, Paragraph. 17).
20 Was die maßgeblichen Verkehrskreise angeht, richten sich – wie in den Randnrn. 12 and 13 the contested decision essentially has been accurately stated - the services in both the average consumer as well as professionals and the examination of the descriptive character of the mark applied taking into account the elements of that mark with regard to the German public, the most important. Whether the mark has a descriptive meaning, therefore - as the applicant does not dispute the remainder - consider in terms of the average German consumers in the European Union.
21 Wie die Beschwerdekammer ausgeführt hat, the mark consists of interconnected components "fluege" and. "en" together, which is the first of these components is provided by a lowercase and place of the letter "u" with the letters "ue" variant of the German term "flights" and the second is one with a country or independent region, Germany here, related top level domain names (country code Top-Level Domain [ccTLD]) is.
22 Nach Auffassung der Beschwerdekammer war bei der Untersuchung des Bestandteils „fluege“ zu berücksichtigen, that the public is used to certain peculiarities in the case of Internet addresses. Belong to these special, that such addresses would lowercase regularly, that special characters such as the letter "ä", "Ü", "Ö" and "ß" often by the string of letters "ae", "Ue", "Oe" and "ss" would be replaced and that these characters would not have been available for technical reasons or bear. Since the traffic know these peculiarities, he does not perceive them as deviations from normal usage.
23 Der Klägerin ist es nicht gelungen, address these considerations pertinent evidence. In particular, their claim, the Board of Appeal for the 2004 existing option left unconsidered, Umlauts (as the letter "u") to be used in Internet addresses, does not contradict the fact relied on by the Board of Appeal, that the umlauts were often replaced by letter sequences, and the evaluation of this chamber, which the concept is perceived "auto recycling" of the relevant public without further than the Internet is not unusual mere orthographic variant of the German term "flights".
24 Dass dem Begriff „fluege“ in der angemeldeten Marke der Domänenname oberster Stufe „.de“ angefügt ist, does not, contrary to what the applicant, that the relevant public this concept devoted increased attention.
25 Vielmehr spricht der Umstand, that the mark can be perceived by that public from the outset as the domain name and therefore as referring to an internet address given its ending. "en", rather that, the fact that this audience, is that the term "auto recycling" of a lowercase letter and the letters "ss" is formed, will pay attention only a smaller.
26 Zudem führt der Umstand, that is a descriptive and non-distinctive term a component added, of a top level domain names (of. B. the top level domain names. "en") corresponds, not to, to confer a distinctive character - the resultant characters - that can identify the relevant public readily as the domain name and therefore as referring to an internet address. The distinctive part of such a domain name is not fact of the Top Level Domain, where appropriate, consists of a point and a corresponding country-specific variant letters, but at best the second level domain name, is the top level of the domain name appended.
27 Soweit, as does the applicant essentially, is argued then,, that a domain name consisting of a trademark, even if it has a descriptive term, therefore should be eligible for protection, because every Internet user knows, that was to find itself behind a domain name composed of a descriptive term, the portal of a single commercial provider, must be rejected such an argument.
28 Ein Domänenname als solcher verweist nämlich allenfalls auf eine Internetadresse, but not to the commercial origin of goods or services of a particular manufacturer or person providing. For the suitability of a domain name, to be registered as a Community trade mark, sind im Hinblick auf die absoluten Eintragungshindernisse der Verordnung Nr. 207/2009 die Praxis bei der Zuteilung der Domänennamen und deren Verwendung nicht ausschlaggebend.
29 In diesem Zusammenhang ist auf die Notwendigkeit hinzuweisen, between the connected with the registration of a domain name rights on the one hand and the rights, arising from the registration of a sign as a Community trade mark, to distinguish on the other side. Thus, the fact, that a party has a domain name as the domain name "fluege.de", not, that this domain name may therefore be registered as a Community trade mark. For it is in fact necessary, dass er sämtliche in der Verordnung Nr. 207/2009 insoweit aufgestellten Voraussetzungen erfüllt (Judgment of the Court of 12. December 2007, Detention Media / OHIM [suchen.de], T‑117/06, not published in the ECR, Paragraph. 44).
30 Daher geht jedes Argument, could be conditional, that due to an allegedly acquired in the domain name at issue lacked exclusive right of a need, into the void (vgl. to that effect suchen.de, oben and Randnr. 29 cited, Paragraph. 44).
31 Nach alledem konnte die Beschwerdekammer fehlerfrei zu dem Ergebnis gelangen, that the mark would be perceived by the relevant public as a domain name easily, the instructions on the address of a website in the field of aviation and flights.
32 Die Klägerin macht weiter geltend, that the services in question even, if the relevant public perceives the mark in the sense of understand on a German web address pointing domain name, flights would be offered under the, or no. had not sufficiently related to the offer of flights.
33 Eine beschreibende Bedeutung könne der Anmeldemarke für die fraglichen Dienstleistungen nicht entnommen werden, neither in relation to the services 'advertising', "Company management" and "office work" (Class 35), which are relevant in any business activities, nor in relation to the "services providing food and drink" and the "Services for temporary accommodation ' (Class 43), nor, considering the mere placement of flights by the applicant, in Bezug auf die Dienstleistungen im „Transportwesen“, the "packaging and storage of goods" and "Tour Operation" (Class 39).
35 In Randnr. 21 der angefochtenen Entscheidung hat sie insbesondere ausgeführt, that the "advertising" the advertising of flights and airlines enclosing, that the "business administration" and "office work" a special, might have on the special requirements of airlines oriented character, that the "transport" means the transport by plane enclosing, that the "packaging and storage of goods" could serve the greater purpose of transporting goods by air, that the "travel arrangement" and the "Services for providing food and drink" event involving choices of air travel and catering for guests traveling by air, and finally, that could carry "services to accommodate guests' special requirements of passengers account, as in the case of airport hotels.
36 Die angemeldete Marke vermittle den maßgeblichen Verkehrskreisen daher offensichtliche und direkte Informationen zur Art der streitigen Dienstleistungen (Paragraphs. 22 and 23 the contested decision), weshalb sie für diese Dienstleistungen beschreibend im Sinne von Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 was.
38 Zunächst ist darauf hinzuweisen, that the mark by, that they can be perceived by the relevant public as a domain name easily, which points to the address of a website in the field of air transport and flights, for services in the "transportation" of the class 39 und im Rahmen dieser Dienstleistungen insbesondere für Dienstleistungen des Transports per Flugzeug beschreibend im Sinne von Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 is.
39 Insoweit ist der von der Klägerin geltend gemachte Umstand, their specific activity does not consist in the transport by plane, but in arranging flights, without any meaning. Die Beurteilung der Eintragungsfähigkeit einer Marke im Hinblick auf das absolute Eintragungshindernis nach Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 hängt nämlich keineswegs von der konkreten Tätigkeit des Markenanmelders, but only on the question, whether the mark for the goods and services, as they are referred to in the application, is descriptive.
40 In addition, that the registration of a word mark can also be rejected, if it has only some of the goods or services such as a specified in the registration category descriptive. Would be entered in such a case, the question mark for that category as a Community trade, would have been prevented by its owner nothing, to use it also for the goods or services in this category, for which there is descriptive (vgl. Judgment of the Court of 9. July 2008, Reber / OHIM - Lindt Chocolate & Sprüngli [Mozart], T‑304/06, Slg. 2008, II‑1927, Paragraph. 92 and cases cited therein, and judgment TRUEWHITE, oben and Randnr. 16 cited, Paragraph. 27).
41 Zu der weiteren Frage, whether the mark on services in the "Transportation" is descriptive addition to the other issues raised in the application services in question, ist mit der Beschwerdekammer und aus den oben in Randnr. 35 angeführten Gründen festzustellen, that these other, in the application very extensively circumscribed all services can be provided in the field of aviation and airline and closely related to them.
42 Da die Klägerin ihre Markenanmeldung in keiner Weise beschränkt hat, In order to exclude these other services in question from its scope, if they are provided in the field of air transport and flights, hat die Beschwerdekammer aus den insbesondere in den Randnrn. 20 to 22 identified the reasons set contested decision, dass die angemeldete Marke im Hinblick auf diese weiteren streitigen Dienstleistungen beschreibend im Sinne von Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. c of Regulation No. 207/2009 is (Judgment of the Court of 8. June 2005, Wilfer / OHIM [ROCK BASS], T‑315/03, Slg. 2005, II‑1981, Paragraph. 70; vgl. according to the judgment of 11. February 2010, German BKK / OHIM [German BKK], T‑289/08, not published in the ECR, Paragraph. 49).
The second plea, mit dem ein Verstoß gegen Art. 7 Abs. 1 For sure. b der Verordnung Nr. 207/2009 alleging
44 Die Klägerin meint, that the mark considering the unusual nature of the term "auto recycling" in the German language and the resulting from the uniqueness of the registration of an Internet domain special attention of the relevant public, which has the required minimum degree of distinctiveness, to justify their inclusion.
46 Es ist darauf hinzuweisen, that the overlap between the absolute grounds for refusal implies in particular, that a word mark, describes the characteristics of goods or services, For this reason, in relation to those goods or services may lack the distinctive, without prejudice to other reasons, can justify this lack of distinctiveness (vgl. Decision of the Court of 18. March 2010, CFCMCEE / HABM, C‑282/09 P, Slg. 2010, I‑2395, Paragraph. 52 and cases cited therein).
47 Im vorliegenden Fall ist festgestellt worden, that the Board of Appeal found error, that the mark was descriptive of the services in. In this context, has been noted in particular, that the fact, that a descriptive and non-distinctive term, a point and a sequence of letters is added, corresponding to a top level domain names, does not cause, the resultant characters, that can identify the relevant public without further than pointing to an internet address domain name, To confer a distinctive character.
The third plea, with the acquired through use of the mark applied for distinctive is asserted
49 Die Klägerin macht geltend, that the mark had become distinctive due to their use in Germany and in the rest of the German territory of the Union. It specifies documents this, and derives from them, that register the mark and annul the contested decision was.
51 Es ist darauf hinzuweisen, dass die Klage beim Gericht auf die Kontrolle der Rechtmäßigkeit der von den Beschwerdekammern des HABM erlassenen Entscheidungen im Sinne von Art. 65 of Regulation No. 207/2009 gerichtet ist. According to Art. 135 § 4 der Verfahrensordnung des Gerichts können ferner die Schriftsätze der Parteien den vor der Beschwerdekammer verhandelten Streitgegenstand nicht ändern.
52 Im vorliegenden Fall ist der Akte zu entnehmen, the fact that the applicant, dass die angemeldete Marke durch ihre Benutzung Unterscheidungskraft im Sinne von Art. 7 Abs. 3 of Regulation No. 207/2009 erworben habe, has not been alleged in the proceedings before OHIM. Consequently, the question, whether the word sign in question by using, said to have been made by him, Has acquired distinctiveness, not discussed before OHIM.
53 Hierzu ist darauf hinzuweisen, that appeal to the distinctive character acquired through use in both an ex-parte and in an inter partes proceedings, an independent legal question over which is, whether the particular brand of house, distinctiveness. Has therefore not a party to the proceedings before OHIM rely on the acquired distinctiveness of its mark, OHIM is not obliged, of its own motion whether their presence (vgl. Judgment of the Court of 10. March 2010, Boats / HABM [THE SCRUB THE FRONTS], T‑31/09, not published in the ECR, Paragraph. 41 and cases cited therein).
57 By type. 87 § 2 der Verfahrensordnung ist die unterliegende Partei auf Antrag zur Tragung der Kosten zu verurteilen. Since the applicant has failed, are you in accordance with the request of the Office to pay the costs.
On those grounds,
DAS GERICHT (Second Chamber)
recognized and chosen law:
1. Dismisses the action;.
2. Unister GmbH to bear its own costs and the costs of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Brands, Marks and Designs) (OHIM).
Delivered in open court in Luxembourg on 14. More 2013.