The EU to Porsche’s New EV Trademark Claim: Not So Fast, Sport

The European Union doesn’t think Porsche’s EV sound is anything special.

The trade union has rejected the German sports car maker’s attempt to trademark the synthetic engine noise produced by the Taycan and its other battery-powered vehicles, according to U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph. The EU’s reasoning is simple: It doesn’t think the tone stands out.

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In the application it filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) last fall, Porsche went to great lengths to explain why its self-proclaimed “unusual” EV sound is different than everyone else’s. The marque claimed the noise, which is meant to mimic that made by a traditional internal combustion engine, is “futuristic, melodious, and has a certain tempo as well as motives and dynamics.” It also described the sound as having the characteristics of a musical composition and claimed it would “evoke recognition” of the brand.

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If all that wasn’t enough, the automaker also compared its EV sound to one of history’s most famous pieces of music—Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The company didn’t stop there, though. It also noted similarities between its synthetic engine noise and the sounds made by KITT from Knight Rider and the lightsabers from the Star Wars movies.

Unfortunately for Porsche, the EUIPO wasn’t having it. The agency rejected the company’s trademark request on the grounds that the sound wasn’t distinctive enough, as it featured no “striking or memorable elements,” according to Australian car website Drive. The office also said that because the noise is not a musical composition it was “irrelevant” to compare it to Beethoven’s 5th. The comparisons to KITT and lights sabers didn’t sway it either.

Porsche did not immediately respond to Robb Report‘s request for comment on Monday.

The agency’s decision will be a disappointment for a number of reasons, one of which is that competitor BMW was recently granted a continent-wide trademark for one of its EV sounds. Don’t expect Porsche, which has been able to register the sound in its home country, to give up, though. The Drive reports that the company is in the process of appealing the EUIPO’s decision.

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