Porsche's attempt to trademark the sound it developed for its electric vehicles has been met with rejection by the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The EUIPO cited that the sound did not possess the distinctive qualities necessary for trademark protection.
Porsche had described the sound as “futuristic, melodious, and with a certain tempo, motives, and dynamics.” They argued that it had the capacity to evoke brand recognition and likened it to iconic sounds such as the opening motif of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, KITT's scanner from the Knight Rider TV series, or lightsabers from the Star Wars film franchise.
However, the EUIPO disagreed with Porsche's assertions, asserting that the sound failed to differentiate a Porsche vehicle from others. According to the EUIPO, the sound, although not replicating a real internal-combustion engine, imitated the acceleration of such engines, which could be misleading for consumers. The office also contended that the comparison to a musical composition, like Beethoven's symphony, was irrelevant, as the trademark in question did not qualify as such.
Moreover, the EUIPO dismissed Porsche's references to sounds from popular series and films as no longer pertinent in today's context. This decision signifies the challenges automakers face when attempting to trademark distinctive features for their electric vehicles in a rapidly evolving automotive landscape.