The General Court of the European Union has ruled the logo for the Cannabis Store Amsterdam as unregistrable as a trademark, calling it “contrary to public policy.” The court claims that the logo – which includes cannabis leaves and the word Amsterdam – refers to illegal drugs and the “tolerated” cannabis culture in Amsterdam.
The court did acknowledge that the leaves in question could be considered hemp leaves and while hemp is not outlawed in the EU like THC-rich cannabis, the words “cannabis” and “Amsterdam,” paired with “store” could lead some to believe that cannabis could be bought at the location.
“…The Court, whilst acknowledging that hemp is not regarded as a narcotic substance below a certain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold, concludes, in this case, that it is due to the combination of those different elements that the sign at issue draws the attention of consumers, who do not necessarily have accurate scientific or technical knowledge regarding cannabis as a narcotic substance which is illegal in many EU countries.” – General Court of the European Union, in a press release, Dec. 12, 2019
Additionally, the court says the logo in question violates EU trademark regulations prohibiting registration of trademarks that violate public policy and morality.
The trademark was first applied for in 2016 by a woman seeking to use the logo for food, drink, and catering services, according to the court documents. Her application was initially denied by the EU Intellectual Property Office; the court’s ruling upholds the initial decision of EUIPO.
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