Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective who used to solve crimes apparently unsolvable, created by the British doctor and writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the book "A Study in Scarlet”, released in 1887.


The profile of the fictional character of British literature, Sherlock Holmes, was registered as a trademark, since 1999, intended to cover the following products/services:


  • Class 16 - Printed matter, printed publications, magazines; posters and prints; stationery; bags; writing sets; writing paper, paper and cardboard articles; books, calendars, paper ornaments, postcards, transfers, albums, boxes, greeting cards, pens and pencils; instructional and teaching materials; diaries; office requisites; packing materials; labels; stickers; playing cards; binders and folders; book markers; envelopes; maps; napkins; handkerchiefs; photographs; paper clips; paper weights; pen cases; scrapbooks
  • Class 28 - Toys, games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles; ornaments and decorations for Christmas trees.
  • Class 41 - Entertainment; exhibitions; museums; amusement arcade services; amusement park services; discotheque services; fun fair services; theme park services; production of films and television programming; provision of recording studio facilities; provision of film production facilities; live entertainment, shows and theatre; studio tours.


It happens that, in 2018, the cancellation of the registration of the trademark was applied for since the applicant of the application for cancellation, considered that the referred trademark was not genuinely being used for the products/services it was intended to cover.


In reply to the filed application for cancellation, the owner of the trademark filed the observations and proofs of use, which considered to be sufficient to prove the required use.


Exchanges of arguments followed-up until the ending of this stage.


Having analyzed what had been filed by the parties, the Cancellation Division considered that the owner of the trademark object of the application for cancellation had not proved the genuine use of that trademark for any of the products or services it was intended to cover, determining its cancellation.


The decision was object of appeal, having been, subsequently known the opinion of the Second Board of Appeal which maintained the cancellation since “Although  the abundant expositions filed by the owner of the EUTM, the sole conclusion to be reached is that the fictional character Sherlock Holmes was object of numerous books, romances and films and that his fame has a global scope.  Notwithstanding, the evidence filed is not even minimally able, to establish the use of the contested trademark concerning the products and services it is intended to cover.  Therefore, (…) the proofs in its whole, cannot affect the conclusion of the contested decision that the owner of the EUTM did not provide the proofs of use of their trademark registration (…)”.


Therefore, as in the presented case, and aiming at a reduction of the risk of potential losses, a continuous assistance of your IP rights together with our IP Official Agents is recommendable.

*EUTM - European Union trade mark

22 November 2019