European soccer giant Barcelona lost a bid to trademark the shield-shaped outline of their club crest on Thursday when EU judges ruled that was not distinctive enough to be linked only to the Catalan club.
The crest itself, based on a design in 1910 by one of their own players of the time, is familiar to Barca’s global fan base. It features the letters FCB and a football over the flags of the city and Catalonia and the blue and red stripe of team’s strip.
But Barcelona also sought to protect the empty shield shape, which has extra points of embellishment, to use on merchandise. That was rejected by the EU trademark office last year.
Following an appeal by the club, the General Court of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, concluded: “None of the characteristics of the sign at issue contains any striking feature which is liable to attract the attention of consumers.
“Crests are commonly used in business for purely decorative purposes without fulfilling the function of a trademark.”