BRUS­SELS:

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

An EU court on Wed­nes­day threw out an at­tempt by US drinks gi­ant Coca-Cola to get trade­mark sta­tus for a new de­sign of its iconic fluted bot­tle through­out the 28-na­tion bloc. In­vented in the United States as a tonic drink in the late 19th cen­tury, Coca-Cola is a tri­umph of mod­ern­day mar­ket­ing, with its con­toured bot­tle one of the most widely recog­nised global brands. In 2011, the com­pany in­tro­duced a flat sur­faced bot­tle but Euro­pean Union au­thor­i­ties re­jected its trade­mark re­quest be­cause they said the new de­sign lacked any "dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter." The Gen­eral Court of the EU, the bloc's se­cond high­est court, rul­ing on a com­pany ap­peal, said there was no rea­son to change that view, with the new de­sign sim­ply a variant of its pre­de­ces­sor. "The Gen­eral Court finds that the sign at is­sue is de­void of the dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter re­quired for reg­is­tra­tion un­der the Com­mu­nity trade­mark regulation," it said. "In those cir­cum­stances, the Gen­eral Court dis­misses in its en­tirety the ac­tion brought by Coca-Cola." The judg­ment fea­tures draw­ings of the new Coke bot­tle from the side, the top, and at a for­wardlean­ing an­gle. Coca-Cola can in the­ory ap­peal to the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice, the EU's high­est court. There was no im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion from the com­pany.

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