"Yes" to Dr No trade mark

1 July 2009

The company managing the intellectual property rights to the "James Bond" series of films has failed in its attempt to block the registration of "Dr. No" as a Community trade mark. The Court of First Instance has ruled that the film title, fixed to the covers of video cassettes or DVDs, helped to distinguish "Dr. No" from other films in the “James Bond” series, whereas the commercial origin of the film was indicated by other signs, such as "007" or "James Bond".

The 2001 application by German media company, Mission Productions, to trade mark "Dr. No" - the name of a 1962 film starring Sean Connery - was accepted after examination by OHIM and an opposition on the ground of likelihood of confusion, was rejected. This decision was appealed to the CFI by US company Danjaq, which manages rights to the Bond film series.

Following the 2001 opposition decision, which found that Danjaq had not proved that the film titles had been used as trade marks, the US company applied for Community trade marks for the other James Bond film titles. A total of 18 out of 21 titles have been registered. The registrations of the remaining three, “Casino Royale”, “Octopussy” and “Goldeneye”, are the subject of opposition proceedings brought by other companies, and the applications are still pending.


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