UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN trade mark invalid

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has declared invalid the Community trade mark THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN registered in relation to various goods and services including CDs, DVDs and concerts, on the grounds that is descriptive and non-distinctive.

However, the court ruled that the use of the name “The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra” by a group of ukulele players would have infringed the trade mark had it been valid (on the grounds of likelihood of confusion and dilution), and that the principal defendant was, in any event, liable in passing off.

This decision may be useful to brand-owners in that it highlights certain types of trade mark that will be vulnerable to attacks on validity where protection is sought across the EU.

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