Unacceptable trade marks
While applying to register a trade mark, it is essential that your mark is going to be accepted by the UK Intellectual Property Office.
Therefore, there are a number of elements that you need to avoid.
The key to a successful trade mark is distinctiveness. Therefore, you need to steer clear of any mark that will be descriptive of either the products you produce or the industry you are involved in.
Also by making your mark descriptive you will not allow customers to pick you out from the crowd. Being distinctive will allow you to build your own brand and stand out as a leader in your industry.
Protected emblems and flags
Along the same lines of the need for your trade mark to be individual, it also needs to be clear its origin. Therefore, it cannot be linked with any emblem or symbol which would indicate that it has come from a source when it hasn’t. The symbols banned from use include armorial bearings, flags and state emblems, official signs, hallmarks as well as any symbol that will indicate an organisation or the Royal Family.
It should go without saying that any mark that includes any word, phrase or image that can cause offensive will not be registered by the UK Intellectual Property Office. The reputation of trade marks of a concept is that of a symbol that will give you strength and will build a good reputation. This cannot be done with a mark that could offend potential customers.
If any mark being submitted for registration is found to fall into any of the above categories, your application will be refused under the absolute grounds for refusal.
For any advice on how to kick-start your application, contact Jane at The Trademarkroom.
By Ellis Sweetenham