Nordic Spirit AB v Voss of Norway ASA (“Voss”)
Voss obtained a registration for the three-dimensional Community Trade Mark (CTM) for a bottle (illustrated below) in relation to Class 32 (Beers, non-alcoholic drinks, water) and Class 33 (Alcoholic beverages except beers).
Nordic Spirit applied for a declaration of invalidity of the CTM on the grounds that the CTM lacks distinctive character.
In January 2011 the OHIM first board of appeal held that the CTM was invalidly registered because it was devoid of distinctive character. The board considered that the cylindrical shape of the bottle does not “diverge significantly” from the shape of other containers used for alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and is a mere variant.
Voss is a brand of bottled water from Norway and is bottled from an artesian source. It is available in still and sparkling form in glass bottles. The cylindrical Voss glass bottle was designed by Neil Kraft (formerly Creative Director with Calvin Klein).
Voss have appealed this decision to the General Court (Case T-178/11).
Bird & Bird LLP act for Nordic Spirit LLP.