According to a recent decision¹ rendered by the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice, the expression “País do Futebol” (in English, “Country of Soccer”) is a generic expression of common and generic use, in public domain, and cannot be registered as a trademark.
In this case, PBC Comunicação filed a lawsuit against the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (“BPTO”) and the company Canal Kids, seeking the nullity of a registration for the trademark “País do Futebol”.
The lower court dismissed the lawsuit, but the decision was reversed by the Federal Court of Appeals of the Second Region, which held that both the name and the meaning of the expression were not distinctive enough and that the respective trademark should be declared null and void. Canal Kids filed a Special Appeal to the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice.
In judging the appeal, the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice held that only visually perceptible signs with a certain degree of distinctiveness can be registered as trademarks, and that it is not possible to register merely generic, common or descriptive signs, as the expression under analysis. The registration of the trademark “País do Futebol” was then declared null and void.
¹ Special Appeal No. 1.746.911