EU Court Rejects ‘Dr. No’ Trademark in Bond Case

     (CN) – James Bond’s intellectual property managers cannot prevent a German company from registering “Dr. No” as a European Community trademark, Europe’s second-highest court ruled.

     The Court of First Instance dismissed the action brought by Danjac Inc. against OHIM, which rejected the opposition to Mission Productions’ trademark registration.
     “Dr. No” is a 1962 film that started the movie franchise of the British superspy created by author Ian Fleming. “Quantum of Solace” was the 22nd Bond film in 2008.
     Despite the well-known use of the phrase as it relates to James Bond, the court ruled that the title of an individual Bond film does not carry the same weight in the realm of trademarks as “James Bond” or “007.”
     “The signs ‘Dr. No’ and ‘Dr. NO’, affixed to the covers of the video cassettes or DVDs, help to distinguish that film from other films in the James Bond series,” the court ruled. “The signs cannot be regarded as well-known trademarks … that could be relied on to oppose the registration of a Community trademark.”

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