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Monaco too famous to trademark name

The tiny principality of Monaco is too famous to trademark its own name, the European Union has said.

The EU's General Court upheld an EU decision not to allow the wealthy enclave on France's Mediterranean coast to use its name as a trademark on products including photos, printed matter and services linked to entertainment and sporting activities.

The court said the word Monaco "corresponds to the name of a globally known principality, not least due to the renown of its royal family, its organisation of a Formula 1 Grand Prix and its organisation of a circus festival".

The World Intellectual Property Organisation granted Monaco an international trademark covering the European Union in 2010 but the EU in 2013 refused to accept it. The ruling can be challenged.

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