Keep clear of these when developing your trade mark
There are a number of elements that are essential to creating a successful trade mark. On the flip side, there are a number of things to avoid in order to ensure that your mark is suitable for registration.
The key elements to avoid is offensive language and the use of any mark that is already registered.
However, there is also important elements to avoid that are outlined in section 4 of the Trade Marks Act 1994.
The aim of this section is to outline clearly the symbols and emblems that are commonly known by the public but are protected and cannot be registered as a trade mark.
The first group of unregistrable marks are in relation to flags. It clearly states that any use of a national flag in a misleading or offensive manner will prevent the mark’s registration. The act specifically states that any use of the Union Jack and the flags of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or Isle of Man in a detrimental manner will prevent a mark being registered.
The second area that the section focuses on is protected emblems and symbols that are linked to the Crown and the Royal Family. The Royal Arms and the Royal Crown are expressly prohibited from registration, as well as any indication or mention of the Royal Family.
However, there is scope for permission to be granted to use the term ‘royal’ however this will not be given to just anyone. Being in the same calibre of businesses such as Royal Mail who have permission to use the Royal Crest, is not something that comes lightly. Therefore, it is best to avoid any mention of the Crown unless it is essential to your business.
For more information on what to include in your trade mark, contact Jane at The Trademarkroom.
By Ellis Sweetenham