Fromageries Bel, owners of cheese brands including Boursin, Leerdammer and The Laughing Cow, have been dealt a blow by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), with their UK trademark registration for the shape of the company’s popular Babybel cheese having been declared invalid. It has been possible to register non-traditional trademarks, including colors and 3D shapes, for many years. However, the requirements for registration of these types of marks have changed substantially since they were first introduced, with significant attention currently being paid to the precise way in which the marks are defined. As a result, an increasing number of non-traditional trademarks previously considered valid and accepted for registration are being declared invalid when challenged by competitors.

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