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When is a Trade Mark Not a Trade Mark


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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There are a number of incidences when a particular word or phrase will not be granted trade mark protection.

This article goes on to discuss just a few:


If a word or phrase (mark) is descriptive of the good or services to which it is attached it will not be granted trade mark protection. For example; if the proprietor of a coffee shop in Brighton wanted to trade mark its name ‘The Brighton Coffee Shop’ it would not be able to. This is due, amongst other reasons, to the fact that it would be unjust and anti-competitive to allow one trader an exclusive right in this term. Doing so would prevent any other trader (who perhaps owns a coffee shop in Brighton) from describing its service.

Lacking Distinctive Character

If a mark is deemed to be void of distinctive character then it will not be accepted. The whole point of a trade mark is that the consumer can easily identify the origin of the goods and what standard it will be. i.e. Coca Cola – this is a soft drink of high quality. Marks such as single letter or marks which contain inspirational or laudatory comments may also fall foul of this criteria.

Indication of Geographical Origin

If a mark indicates the geographical origin of a product (for example ‘Blackpool Rock’) and if that place is well renowned for those products then it will be non-registrable. However, if the place name does not have a reputation for that particular product or is not likely to then an application may be acceptable. (For example ‘Canadian Lettuce’)

How can I be Sure?

If you are unsure as to the merits of your trade mark then please contact us and we will be happy to perform a full trade mark search on your behalf to establish the registrability of your mark in view of all of the restrictions and criteria’s which must be fulfilled. Our fee for this is £150.00+VAT with a 48 hour turn around.

Jody Tsigarides

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 2007-06-14 22:00:33 in Legal Articles

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