Ardagh fail in bid to trademark drinks can sound


Ardagh cannot trademark the sound made by opening one of its drinks cans, it has been told by an EU court.

The packaging giant had tried to register an audio file of one of its drinks cans being opened as a trademark with the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

Back in 2019, EUIPO said it was ‘not distinctive’ and had its application refused for the audio the included the sound of the can opening, followed by a one second silence and a fizzing sound lasting nine seconds.

Ardagh then appealed the decision to the European General Court, but the decision was not overturned.

“A sound mark must have a certain resonance which enables the target consumer to perceive it as a trade mark and not as a functional element or as an indicator without any inherent characteristics,” the court said.

The court said the sound was a “purely technical and functional element” of the product and was not enough to alert the general public to the origin of the goods.

“Those elements are not resonant enough to distinguish themselves from comparable sounds in the field of drinks.”

The company may now appeal to the European Court of Justice.

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