NewsCopying prohibited: "Oktoberfest" is a protected trademark

Copying prohibited: "Oktoberfest" is a protected trademark

The Munich Oktoberfest should have started this Saturday – but Germany’s most famous folk festival is canceled again. A legal stop is now being pushed for larger Oktoberfest copies.

Alicante / Munich – The Munich Oktoberfest is a protected trademark according to a decision by the EU Intellectual Property Authority.

The office (EUIPO) based in Alicante, Spain, has approved the application of the Munich city administration for trademark protection for Germany’s most famous folk festival after five years of examination. The trademark protection initially applies until 2026. This year’s Oktoberfest should actually have started on Saturday, but is canceled for the second time in a row due to corona.

The Munich city administration wants to prevent Oktoberfest profiteers with the registered trademark. The term is protected for 22 product classes including tourism advertising, but also for products and services – from soap and credit cards to uniform rental.

“There is only one Oktoberfest”

Trouble in the Munich City Hall was recently triggered by the plan of some business people to hold a large-scale replacement Oktoberfest in Dubai. “Now it is legally fixed what has been true for me for a long time: There is only one Oktoberfest, and that in Munich,” said Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD).

Wiesn boss and economics officer Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU) said: “I am concerned with the question: Do you want to cash in with Munich, and does that damage Munich?” For him, the big line is important. “When it is said that Oktoberfest is moving to Dubai now, then that is excessive. That is not possible, we are taking action against it. “

For the CSU politician, the many small “Oktoberfests” around the globe are different, from which, according to Baumgärtner, Munich even benefits. He cited the USA as an example: “The Oktoberfest in Cincinnati never tried to copy Munich, it can be seen under the advertising category.”

The Bavarian original is now almost comprehensively protected under trademark law, because the city administration has protected the terms “Münchner Oktoberfest” and “Oktoberfest Munich” as well as “Wiesn”, “Oide Wiesn”, or “Oktoberfest Oide Wiesn Munich”. These applications went through in Alicante even earlier than the pure “Oktoberfest”.

Not completely protected

Almost comprehensive, however, does not mean completely: There has been a separate brand entry for the “Oktoberfest Dublin” for years, and the Segmüller upholstered furniture factory has been the owner of the rights to the term “Wiesn” for three product classes in furniture since 2012.

“Wiesnkönig”, “Wiesnschönheit” and “Wiesn vegetarians”, to name just a few examples, are also protected. Behind each of these brands are business people and not the state capital.

At the Theresienwiese in Munich there are currently Corona test tents instead of beer tents, but for the steadfast there are at least the usual devotional items such as the official Oktoberfest mug to buy. Oktoberfest beer is also available – the latter is a registered trademark of the Munich breweries. dpa

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