KRAFTWERK, not for the fit and healthy

19 September 2023

KRAFTWERK is, as we all (should) know, a German electronic band and they have been widely considered pioneers in electronic music.

Ralf Hütter founded Kraftwerk with Florian Schneider in 1969 and as the only remaining original member Hütter seems to safeguard the KRAFTWERK brand as he decided to take action against a trademark application at the European Trademark Office (EUIPO) for a KRAFTWERK trademark for “tobacco and e-cigarettes” by a company from Hong Kong.

Since he does not own KRAFTWERK trademarks for tobacco products, he (or his trademark attorney) needed get creative in order to try and win this opposition.

Hütter decided to claim the “well-known” status of KRAFTWERK as well-known trademarks enjoy a broader scope of protection than “normal” trademarks.

He also argued that Kraftwerk stands for a healthy lifestyle because the "human machine" Kraftwerk does a lot of cycling and Kraftwerk has entered into a cooperation with the bicycle manufacturer Canyon. It is therefore obvious that there are objections against a trademark for tobacco products.

EUIPO did not follow this creativity. According to EUIPO this “healty lifestyle” might be the image that the opponent has of his band or wants to convey to the outside world but this is not the image with which the music group Kraftwerk is associated with.

Kraftwerk is known for innovative electronic music and unusual, stage shows where robots appear to be performing but healthy lifestyle...nah..not directly.

The Opposition Division concludes that it is unlikely that the respective public would associate the conflicting signs with one another and therefore the opposition is rejected. 


Beeld bij tekst-Sep-11-2023-10-16-15-7737-AM


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