NewsNon-traditional Sanofi trademark application success in the Czech Republic

Allen & Overy has assisted its longstanding client Sanofi with providing successful arguments required for the registration of its trademark involving the distinctive shape of its Ibalgin pill in the Czech Republic. This marks the Sanofi group’s first trademark registration protecting the shape of a product in the Czech Republic.

Obtaining this trademark will allow the Sanofi group (the local producer of Ibalgin) to protect the goodwill of its best-selling ibuprofen-based painkiller on the market. As part of the registration, the Czech Industrial Property Office accepted A&O’s argument that although the shape of Ibalgin pill is generic, its simplicity, pink colour and long-term use make it immediately recognisable to consumers and thus truly distinctive.

Reflecting on the landmark decision, Carole Tricoire, Head of Legal, Trademarks for Consumer Healthcare at Sanofi commented: While everyone thought the case was lost, the A&O team persevered in their efforts. This success reflects the fact that the team is not just an advisory team, but a team that knows and understands the business of its client. Proximity to business is key to meeting this kind of challenge. This decision will serve other pharma sector players and we are proud of it”.

The advice has been provided by A&O’s Jakub Čech, a Prague-based associate who specialises in intellectual property and trademark law. Commenting on the success, he said: “It has been a pleasure working with Sanofi team on this challenging work. We pride ourselves in working with the highest calibre clients on such pivotal intellectual property cases”.

Sanofi has been represented in the proceedings before the Czech Industrial Property Office by a local Czech firm Čermák a spol.