German wind turbine manufacturer Enercon applied to register a shape consisting of an American football-shaped wind turbine as a Community Trade Mark. The class of goods covered included wind turbines. If the trade mark application had been successful, this would have prevented any other manufacturer from making or selling wind turbines of the same or similar shape in the EC.
The application was rejected, as were Enercon's appeals to the Board of Appeal and now the Court of First Instance. However, it shows that some players in the wind sector are trying to obtain as much IP protection as possible, and are being creative in looking beyond the traditional types of IP (in particular patents and know-how) in this sector. Enercon certainly also has a large patent portfolio.
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