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Motion Trademark

Motion Trademark

Nusret Gökçe, also known as Salt Bae, is a Turkish chef who runs a steakhouse chain. His technique for frying and preparing meat has been legendary. He’s been well-known for the way he slices meat and salts it in a ‘elegant’ manner. In January 2017, he became popular after a viral video called “Ottoman Steak” went viral on Twitter. He was dubbed “Salt Bae” after this because of the classic way he sprinkles salt by making it fall down on his forearm and then spreading it on the beef.

In March 2017, he applied for EU trademark registration for the motion name in classes 25 (clothing, trousers, jackets, overcoats, skirts, suits), 30 (clothing, trousers, jackets, overcoats, skirts, suits), and 35 (clothing, trousers, jackets, overcoats, skirts, suits) (coffee, cocoa, artificial coffee, coffee-based beverages, noodles, macaroni, ravioli, bread, pastry and bakery products)

The EUIPO had partially dismissed the application in relation to Class 43, claiming that the symbol is nothing more than a mundane scene of a chef cooking meat with a pinch of salt, and therefore should not be called a distinctive mark.

The claimant sought to prove that the logo had gained distinctiveness as a result of its widespread usage on the internet. The reviewer, on the other hand, believed that the proof submitted for acquired distinctiveness did not support that the motion mark could fulfill its vital role (that of indicating origin) for the products or services in question.

The appellant lodged an appeal in December 2007, claiming that the Salt bae’s celebrity should authorize the motion mark to serve as a source indicator.


The Fifth Board of Appeal concluded that the method for salting meat is a common procedure in the cooking industry and does not signify a source for the specific service of serving beef. As a result, it cannot be registered for Class 43 programs. Registration will be possible for the remaining services in that class, namely, services for providing drink; renting of foodservice equipment used in services providing food and drink; reservation of temporary accommodation; and rental of banquet and social event facilities for special events, such as wedding receptions, conventions, and gatherings.


The claimant has refused to demonstrate that the hand signal is understood by service users, according to the Board. The proof only demonstrated how the symbol is used in practice.

The claimant provided the number of followers on his various social media sites as well as the number of views on his YouTube videos. The Board determined that using social media to support a company is standard practice. As a result, there was no way of knowing how many people really visited these pages or the Member States the related population came from. Just one conclusion can be drawn from the evidence: the sign is in use. However, this is insufficient evidence that the logo has gained distinctiveness for the facilities in question.

Second, the Board considered whether the mark was initially incapable of fulfilling the role of indicating roots and whether this function had now been accomplished as a result of its use. This can be determined by looking at the evidence surrounding the symbol, as well as how common and long-standing the mark is geographical. The Board determined that the applicant’s testimony in this respect was inadequate.

As a result, the proposal for goods and services in Classes 25, 30, and 43 were approved (in part). Registration for food-delivery facilities in Class 43, on the other hand, was denied.

Nonetheless, given that Salt Bae’s method of sprinkling salt on meat has been licensed as an EU trademark for certain types of products and services, it’s a fascinating situation.

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