Chewing gum maker Wrigley Jr is at risk of losing its European Union Doublemint trademark battle after an adviser to the European Court of Justice said the name did not conform to EU trademark standards.
The case is the second round in the company’s fight with the EU’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), which objects to Doublemint being registered as a trademark because it says names consisting only of descriptions cannot be used as trademarks, reported Reuters.
In the first round, a lower court agreed with Wrigley’s claim that the 88-year-old name was more than a description because it was ambiguous and could mean either “twice as much mintiness” or “with two types of mint”.
In his report to the EU’s top court yesterday [Thursday], Advocate General Francis Jacobs said it did not matter if the name was ambiguous, it was still a description and therefore not eligible to become a trademark in the EU.
“A consumer (is)…practically certain to apprehend that a characteristic of the product…is being designated as in some way doubled or duplicated, even if that is not literally or precisely so,” the court adviser was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Reports by such advisers are not binding, but the court follows their advice in four out of five cases.
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Doublemint already has national trademarks registered in 14 out of 15 EU states and Wrigley will continue to pursue an EU-wide trademark, a company spokesman said. One EU-wide trademark would be more convenient and would cut some administrative costs, he added.