In a recent decision the Austrian Court of Appeal in Vienna rejected an application to have the term “Black Friday” registered as trademark. In its grounds the court pointed out that the term “Black Friday” is generally known as the day after Thanksgiving Day which signals the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Thus “Black Friday” as being descriptive and lacking of distinctive character cannot be protected as trademark in Austria. This means that the use of this sign is still open to all in Austria. However, a cross-border use of “Black Friday” – online or offline - could violate trademark rights obtained in countries outside Austria.
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