The basics of a TM
Submit Articles Back to Articles
13 February 2013
What is a Trade Mark?
It is a name that is often thrown around in the intellectual property
world, but for a beginner its terms like these that can easily confuse
you. Weve all heard the term, but what actually is
a trade mark?
S.1 Trade Marks Act 1994 requires a trade mark to be:
- Sign that is;
- Capable of being represented graphically; and
- Capable of being distinguishable.
For example, Coca Cola is a trademark as their label is a sign that can
be represented graphically - it is on every bottle they produce - and
it is distinguishable - one would know what was Coca Cola and what was
simply a supermarket brand.
You may also ask: what does graphic representation mean? This was
clarified in the case of Seickmann,
which provided an exhaustive list of what the term means. In this case,
the applicant appealed to the ECJ after being denied a trade mark for a
smell in which he had written a chemical formula and described it. The
court provided a specific criteria for what should be allowed to be a
trade mark; the trade mark had to be:
The problem with a smell is that it is not clear, durable or objective;
a smell is completely subjective.
So! There are three main steps when registering a trade mark which are:
- S.1 - can your trade mark be graphically represented and is it
- S.3 - the absolute grounds for refusal of an application based on
public policy issues.
- S.5 - the relative grounds for refusal - the purpose of this section
is to avoid confusion.
All sections refer to the Trade Marks Act 1994.
By Charlotte Newlyn, Charlotte is a university
student on work experience at lawdit
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
Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the
largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-03-11 12:52:07 in Legal Articles