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Article 11 - Freedom of expression and information
Key facts of the case:
Appeal — EU trade mark — Regulation (EC) No 207/2009 — Article 7(1)(f) — Absolute ground for refusal — Mark contrary to accepted principles of morality — Word sign ‘Fack Ju Göhte’ — Rejection of the application for registration.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Fifth Chamber) hereby:
56) Lastly, it should also be added that, contrary to the General Court’s finding in paragraph 29 of the judgment under appeal, that ‘there is, in the field of art, culture and literature, a constant concern to preserve freedom of expression which does not exist in the field of trade marks’, freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must, as EUIPO acknowledged at the hearing and as the Advocate General states in points 47 to 57 of his Opinion, be taken into account when applying Article 7(1)(f) of Regulation No 207/2009. Such a finding is corroborated, moreover, by recital 21 of Regulation No 2015/2424, which amended Regulation No 207/2009 and recital 21 of Regulation 2017/1001, both of which expressly emphasise the need to apply those regulations in such a way as to ensure full respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, in particular freedom of expression.