Brazilian media company loses ringtone battle


A Brazilian media company has lost an appeal against a ban on using a ringtone as its trademark.

Globo Comunicacao e Participacoes asked the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to register the sound in 2014. But EUIPO refused their request, saying it had “no distinctive character” and was a “banal and commonplace” ringtone which was not easily distinguishable.

The European Union’s General Court has now upheld the decision. The Court also felt the ringtone was not distinctive enough to be recognized as a trademark for TV programs.

“Since the mark applied for is devoid of any distinctive character, the Court holds that EUIPO did not err in refusing to register it.”

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