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Russia: iPad too simple to be a 3D trade mark

Tablet computers are now popular everywhere. It is clear that they have the same outward appearance and cannot be otherwise. Nevertheless, Apple filed for a 3D trade mark reproducing the shape of IPad in Russia. The application was filed claiming priority of 2010 in respect of goods in Class 9.

The Patent Office refused the registration and it was appealed to the Chamber of Patent Disputes, which supported the Patent Office. The Office based its decision on the fact that the claimed designation was a schematic representation of a specific product, namely, tablet computers, book readers and so on, and did not possess distinguishing capability. Similar devices are being manufactured by many companies, such as ASUS, Samsung, HTC, PocketBook and Sony. The applicant himself confirmed that he had filed a designation reproducing the image of the computer manufactured by him and known as iPad. In doing so, the shape and elements of the claimed designation are conditioned by its functional purpose: there is a screen occupying a large part of the surface of the device, a functional pushbutton to control the device and jacks and so on on the narrow lateral side of the device.

Insignificant differences in the size, thickness, position of the pushbuttons and other elements are not important criteria for the perception of the device by the consumer because they occupy a small place in comparison with the device as a whole and cannot change the overall image of the tablet computer. There are no original elements that would have distinctive character, hence there are no reasons to recognise the claimed designation as a trade mark.

Vladimir Biriulin

Gorodissky & Partners
Russia 129010, Moscow
B. Spasskaya Str
25, stroenie 3
Tel: +7 495 937 6116 / 6109
Fax: +7 495 937 6104 / 6123


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