Flag ban for trademarks
September 2020. It is not known to everyone, but registering a logo that incorporates a flag is prohibited. Trademarks with flags do not get a registration. Chiever took a look around in the Benelux trademark register and found some interesting examples of refused ‘flag brands’.
Trademarks that were refused because of the presence of the Dutch flag
Regardless of which flag
In the Benelux, of course, it’s not just the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg flag, but flags from all over the world. The background to this ‘flag ban’ is that countries must stay in control of their flags and that the public must not be misled about the origin of the products.
Trademarks with tiny little flags are also refused
The size of the flag does not seem to matter either: even logos that have a tiny flag hidden inside are refused.
These trade marks were rejected because of the flag
Regardless of flag shape
It also doesn’t matter if the flag doesn’t have the shape of a flag, but is round, for example. It’s all covered by the flag ban.
Find the Belgian flag!
But it can also go too far. It was a mystery to us why this logo, LC Waikiki, was rejected. Until we discovered the Belgian flag after a lot of searching. This seems a bit excessive by the Benelux trademark office!