EU court rules Germans can’t trademark ‘vulgar’ movie name
BERLIN (AP) — A European Union court has ruled that a Germany company can’t trademark the name of one of the country’s most successful movie franchises because of its vulgar title.
Constantin Film Produktion GmbH had sought to protect its rights to merchandise related to a school comedy whose title doesn’t mean anything in German or any other language but is meant to sound like a common English-language expletive.
Six million people paid to see the movie’s third installment, topping cinema charts in Germany last year.
Judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Wednesday upheld a decision by the European Union Intellectual Property Office that the name is too similar to a vulgar English phrase, which might cause offense.
They said unsuspecting consumers might be shocked if they bought products bearing the film’s name.
The ruling can be appealed.