Ukraine war and Zelenski reach the patent and trademark offices
The SPTO has received applications to register as trademarks names such as Help Ukraine, or Zelenski for beer and tobacco.
As a result of the conflict triggered by the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, the trademark offices of the European Union and Spain have registered applications to exploit distinctive signs alluding to the conflict. It is common practice for businessmen and individuals to transfer relevant events to the trade names of their products. The SPTO (Spanish Patent and Trademark Office) is processing trademark applications that include the name of the invaded country. United for peace. Ukraine in the heart, requested by Radio Televisión Española for a program; Help Ukraine; We are Ukraine; KidsUkraine or Ukraine Conecta. Although most of them have a solidarity or humanitarian background, one wonders to what extent the name of a state can be commercially exploited.
Both the Spanish trademark law and the European Union regulation establish rules to avoid abuse or confusion in the market. Óscar García, partner and head of Balder’s trademark department, points out that the petition would not pass the test “when they replicate symbols, such as the flag, to give a greater sense of officialdom”. In this case, he explains, “it is likely that the authorization of the Government in question would be requested”. Another issue would be to try to register only the name of the country, since it is a denomination, García points out, that “in principle should be free to use for all those who are based in Ukraine or who provide services related to this State”. Therefore, he believes, the official should object, “unless it incorporates a very special graphic design or other alternative elements”.
If you want to find out more about the applications registered by the SPTO, do not miss this report published in Cinco Días Legal, with the participation of Óscar García, partner and director of the trademark department of Balder.