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  • Writer's pictureVincent Lim-Teh

USE IT OR LOSE IT: How Apple lost its THINK DIFFERENT trademark in the EU

In a recent judgement, the General Court of the EU ruled that Apple’s trademark registration in the EU for the slogan “THINK DIFFERENT” shall be revoked as the tech giant hasn’t been using the slogan on its products.

The judgement follows applications by Swatch in 2016 at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to revoke Apple’s trademark registration for the slogan on the grounds that Apple had not been genuinely using the trademark for an uninterrupted period of five years.

Swatch’s applications were accepted and Apple’s trademark was revoked by the Cancellation Division of EUIPO revoked Apple’s trademark registration. Unhappy with EUIPO’s decision Apple brought three actions before the General Court of the EU.

Unfortunately for Apple, the General Court agreed with the EUIPO that Apple has not put to genuine use its “THINK DIFFERENT” slogan on its products. The General Court’s decision may mean that any businesses in the EU may now use the slogan on their own products.

This case shows that trademark owners must use their trademarks after they are registered, otherwise, the trademark registrations can be revoked for non-use. In Malaysia, any trademark registration can be revoked by the court if it is not use in good faith for 3 years after it is registered.

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