Trade mark info

The Patent Office will object to logos, words, pictures or any other signs which are unlikely to be seen as a trade mark by the public or mark name that may look or sound confusingly similar to registered ones.

It may be the following:

  • marks that simply describe your goods or services or any characteristics of them (such as marks that show the quality quantity, purpose, value or geographical origin of your good or services);
  • if a phrase / words have become customary in your line of trade;
  • not distinctive enough or
  • they combine any of the above.

Further, the Patent Office stated that they may not accept words, logos, pictures or other signs which are unlikely to be seen as a trade mark by the public simply because they are:

  • in colour;
  • in an unusual typeface;
  • joined together or misspelt (‘xtra’, ‘fone’ and so on);
  • presented as an Internet domain name or with the words ‘.com’, ‘co.uk’ and so on; or
  • they combine any of the above.

                                                      
TASTYFOOD – The joining of two words together cannot be a trade mark because it simply describes a quality of the goods.

TOYS DIRECT – It is a quality regularly used by traders simply describing direct sale to the public and widely used by traders. If kind of goods being sold is included in the mark it will not help.

THE ONE FOR YOU – This or similar slogans will also not be acceptable as these are often used in trade and not distinctive enough.

The Patent Office specifically states that they will also not accept marks which are: three-dimensional shapes, where the shape shows the goods has a function or adds great value to the goods; specially protected emblems; offensive; against the law (ie. for example promoting illegal drugs) or could be regarded as deceptive (leading the public to think goods/services have a quality which they do not).

In addition, it is worth nothing that simply registering a name with Companies House or an internet domain name with an internet registrar does not mean that the name will automatically be accepted as a trade mark.

Some useful tips:

If you think that what you included in your trade mark name is not distinctive enough, you may consider adding a prominent invented word, logo or picture in your mark to avoid refusal in your application.

For example, the mark COFFEE SHOP would not be considered distinctive for cafes. However, THE ZATKOR COFFEE SHOP would be considered distinctive enough as the public would see ZATKOR as being a trade mark.

In the same way, QUALITY HANDBAGS would not be considered distinctive for handbags. However, FRISHCOSS QUALITY HANDBAGS would be seen as a trade mark.
 

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