Laudatory marks: what are they and why should I avoid them?
When considering the brand in which you should protect with a trade mark, it is important you are aware of those elements you should include and those you should avoid.
There are obvious things to avoid, such as a copy of an existing trade mark and a term that describes your goods and services, but there are others which are lesser known.
One of these lesser known but important elements is laudatory marks.
A laudatory mark is one which expresses praise and commendation. The mark will give the impression of a certain level of quality or the goods and services being of certain criteria.
A mark which is deemed to be laudatory will be refused by the intellectual property office examiner as the mark will be devoid of distinctive character in relation to certain goods and services.
For example, the words ‘Splendid’, ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Ideal’ are likely to be descriptive in relation to a wide range of goods.
However, certain terms are specifically descriptive in relation to certain goods. For example, the word ‘Classic’ would be specifically refused in relation to furniture and cars but may be distinctive in relation to technical goods.
It is important that before you make the financial step towards an application, you need consider any possible blocks to the application.
It is best to avoid any inclusion of a potentially laudatory term as it could lead the refusal of your application.
If you would like more advice on what to include in your brand, contact The Trademarkroom team today.
By Ellis Sweetenham