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A head start through slogan

A head start through slogan

In the future, it will be much easier for companies to secure their advertising slogans as a brand. This is the consequence of a current ruling by the European Court of Justice (Az.:C-398/08). The judges granted Audi AG full trademark protection for its slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik”.

by Olaf Gillert

Reason: The slogan is not only informative, but also distinctive and can therefore be registered as a trademark for goods and services. The European Court of Justice has declared the earlier argument that a slogan can only be understood as advertising to be obsolete.

This was preceded by a seven-year legal battle over the catchy slogan. In 1997 Audi applied for the registration of the “Vorsprung durch Technik” brand for cars. With the new registration in 2003, clothing, toys and leather goods should also benefit from the brand. The European Trademark Authority refused – and has now been taught better.

This is an important signal for companies: With the right line of argument, you can now legally secure your slogans in Germany and Europe in addition to your brands. This is particularly important for small and medium-sized companies: They rarely have the financial means to make a slogan so well known that it is registered based on its popularity.


About the author:
Olaf Gillert successfully represented Audi AG in the judgment. As a partner and trademark law expert at the international law firm Taylor Wessing in Düsseldorf, he specializes in the national and international brand management of corporations, family businesses and medium-sized companies.