Famous trademarks unintentionally abandoned and not renewed

Famous trademarks unintentionally abandoned and not renewed

  • 10 June, 2024
  • Nyall Engfield

Famous trademarks unintentionally abandoned and not renewed

There have been notable instances where trademarks were not renewed due to oversights but continued to be used. Here are a few examples:

  1. Coca-Cola - One of the most famous cases involves the trademark for the Coca-Cola bottle design. In 1985, Coca-Cola forgot to renew the trademark for their bottle design, which had become iconic by then. However, since the bottle design had acquired secondary meaning and was still being used, they continued to have some protection under trademark law through their continued use and the distinctiveness of the design.

  2. Burberry - The luxury fashion brand Burberry inadvertently failed to renew the trademark for their iconic check pattern in the US. This lapse occurred in 2006. Despite this, Burberry continued to use the pattern and was able to re-establish their trademark rights through subsequent registrations and continued usage in commerce.

  3. Tiffany & Co. - The famous blue color used by Tiffany for its jewelry boxes and bags was temporarily left unprotected when the company mistakenly failed to file a timely renewal for the trademark. However, the distinctive Tiffany blue color was still strongly associated with the brand, allowing them to eventually secure the trademark again.

These cases emphasize the importance of vigilant trademark management and renewals. While these companies were able to maintain some level of protection due to the fame and inherent distinctiveness of their marks, lapses like these can lead to legal challenges and potential loss of exclusive rights.

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