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Absolute Grounds for Refusal - Trade Marks


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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4 December 2009

By Ben Evans

In order to be capable of registration as a trade mark the mark must be a sign which is capable of graphical representation, capable of distinguishing one trader's goods or services from those of another.

Under section 1 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 ('the Act') a sign can consist of words, designs, letters, numerals or shapes.

The mark must be able to be expressed clearly, precisely, durably and with certainty.

Section 3 of the Act sets out the absolute grounds for refusal. Firstly, the mark must not be merely descriptive and must distinguish the goods and services of one trader from the goods or services of another trader. A trade mark cannot include words which describe a quality or characteristic of the good for example 'best' or 'good'. A trade mark cannot include a common i.e. generic word, unless the public have learnt to associate a term with a certain product which may satisfy the distinction requirement.

Section 3(2) of the Act provides that you cannot register a trade mark if it results exclusively from the nature of the goods.

A trademark will not be registered if it is made in bad faith or contrary to public policy or morality or if it is deceptive.

Ben Evans is a trainee solicitor specialising in intellectual property and information technology law.

About the Author

Lawdit 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 Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-12-08 18:05:18 in Legal Articles

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