Sieckmann kicks in once again: when is a representation of a sign an acceptable representation for the sake of registration?

For a sign to be registered as a trade mark, one of the key requirements is that the sign is capable of being represented. The old ‘graphic representation requirement’ under the previous EU trade mark instruments has been replaced – under the umbrella of the 2015 reform – by a requirement that the sign at issue is capable of “being represented on the Register of European Union trade marks (‘the Register’), in a manner which enables the competent authorities and the public to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to its proprietor.” (Article 4(b) EUTMR).Arguably, one of the reasons for the change in the law was to make it easier to register less conventional signs as trade marks, thus overcoming the restrictive interpretation of ‘graphic representation’ as provided by the Court of Justice of the European Union in its decision in Sieckmann.Yet, Recital 10 in the preamble to the EUTMR…

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