Can a gesture be protected as a trademark ?

Ip world
Publié le 5 July 2017

Such as Nabilla Benattia and her “allo?”, some people get famous using gestures, become identification marks.

In the United States, Gene Simmons, member of the Kiss band, has just filed the “rock on” sign (rock) as a trademark for concert and entertainment, pretending to be the first one to use it in 1974.

The athlete Usain Bolt filed a Community trademark for his famous “dab”dab for goods of class 18 (purses, leather goods). This trademark is now registered. This gesture has been copied a lot  by all kind of people from football player Paul Pogba to Rihanna or French president Emmanuel Macron.

One can wonder about the relevance of such filings; a trademark being goaled to identify the origin of a good or service. If M. Bolt considers representing this design on bags, this will constitute a genuine trademark use. Nevertheless, he may not forbid the use of the gesture as such.


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