Famous Trademark Registration Refusals
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05 June 2013
The purpose of a Trade Mark is to distinguish goods or
services between traders and make them identifiable as originating from
a particular source. Trade mark legislation lays down a number of rules
and conditions that must be satisfied before a trade mark may be
In order to prevent an owner from unfairly
obtaining a monopoly a Trade Mark will be refused
registration in the following circumstances:
- The mark is descriptive of goods or services.
- The mark consists of customary words.
- The mark is non- distinctive.
- The mark is laudatory.
- The mark may conflict with an earlier registered mark.
Famous Trade mark Registration failures
The sound of a revving engine.
The yellow smiley face (that has been in use for over the last
Bale (Footballer Tottenham Hotspur)
The heart shaped hand gesture he uses when celebrating a goal.
The term ‘you’re fired’ in relation to the US version of the
The designer Coco Chanel in their attempted registration of
the word ‘Jersey’ faced fierce opposition from inhabitants of the
Channel Islands, the senator of Jersey commented the opposition was in
relation to ownership of the name and not to stop Chanel from using the
The Spanish equivalent of ‘Day of the Dead’ (a Mexican
holiday), was faced with a petition with over 21,000 signatories
generated in the space of a day.
The name SEAL Team 6, (the name of the navy team that killed
Osama Bin Laden) Disney attempted to register this just two days after
the killing and had proposed to use the mark on children’s toys and
Written by Rehana Ali
About the Author
Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation,
commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We
are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual
Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-06-17 14:15:30 in Legal Articles