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There is only One Madonna... ehm or a couple



Ok, this is not about "our Madonna" but quite funny!

A German firm called Madonna has asked to register their name as a trademarkin Switzerland but the Swiss Federal Insitute of Intellectual Property and courts have ruled on the matter. It can't be done as the term 'Madonna' is a reference to theVirgin Mary, and that, as such, its commercial use as a trademark would be immoral. The court defined the meaning of the disputed term 'Madonna' in the understanding of the Swiss public in German, French and Italian (the main languages spoken in Switzerland). It confirmed that, at least in Italian, the term 'Madonna' refers to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, and that such an understanding in only one national language was sufficient. The Virgin Mary occupies a central place in Catholic Christianity.

Secondary meanings in art and modern culture relied on by the applicant, (for example"our Madonna") are not sufficiently strong to supersede the primarily religious meaning of the word.

In that respect, the name 'Madonna' differed from the name 'Christ' – a registered trademark for watches and jewellery in Switzerland – which is also a common second name in Switzerland.

Source: International Law Office


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