Luxembourg, Luxembourg (CNS) – German designer Wolfgang Joop’s bid to have a punctuation mark trademarked for his Joop! clothing and perfume company has been denied by European Union judges.
Joop applied to register two versions of an exclamation point: the first is a simple exclamation and the other is inside a rectangular frame.
The Telegraph reports that The Court of First Instance in Luxembourg said that the public would see the symbols simply as an “eye-catching gimmick.” The exclamation point lacked “distinctive character,” which makes it ineligible as a trademark under EU law.
The symbol could still be trademarked if it became so associated with the company that the public would recognize its products from the symbol alone. However, this was not the case for Joop’s Joop!
The court ruled that consumers would not be able to decide on the origin of the products just by relying on an exclamation mark.
The trademark application for the exclamation point was also turned down at the German courts in 2006.