Kuna argued, among other things, that his Covid Worldwide Board Game does not try to ‘downplay’ the Covid epidemic. Instead, according to Kuna, the game is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and serves an educational purpose, teaching people how to behave. Kuna also stated that Hungary had already accepted the game under the local board game regulations.
EUIPO made short work Kuna’s stories. In the wake of hundreds of thousands of Covid deaths, the trademark goes against moral standards applied in the EU, according to EUIPO. The European trademark office was also to the point about the Hungarian board game regulation: it had nothing to do with trademark law. So this application simply has to be assessed under European trademark law.
A grey area
The statement seems fair. However, it remains a grey area. It’s interesting to see that the ground for rejection ‘contrary to public order’ is invoked quite often by EUIPO. The EUIPO guidelines mention BIN LADIN, FUCK CANCER and LA MAFIA as examples of rejected trademarks. On the other hand, DE PUTA MADRE and FACK JU GÖHTE are okay. We will explore this type of rejection soon.