What are Trademark Absolute Grounds for Refusal

Posted by Jane on October 23, 2015 / Posted in Trade Marks
What are Trademark Absolute Grounds for Refusal

What are Trademark Absolute Grounds for Refusal 

When a trademark application is filed an examiner will examine your proposed trade mark to ensure that it functions as a trade mark. A mark will be deemed as able to function as a trade mark if it is able to distinguish the goods / services of one undertaking from those of another and that it is not wholly descriptive in nature.  

An Examiner may refuse any mark which lacks distinctive character and / or is purely descriptive of the goods or services of the trade mark. 

We will now explain the law in more detail; 

Devoid of Distinctive Character

Trademarks which are devoid of any distinctive character shall not be registered. The main function of this objection is to exclude trade mark applications that do not fulfil the ‘distinguishing function’ of a trademark. The primary function of a trade mark is to allow the average consumer to be able to indicate the commercial origin / undertaking associated to the services. If this does not exist, the trade mark’s fundamental function is not fulfilled and therefore the trade mark is devoid of distinctive character. 

Descriptive Trade Marks  

Trade marks that consist of either customary language or that are descriptive of the services applied for will not be registered. This is because the law seeks to prevent one owner claiming a monopoly in a combination of words that are either customary or descriptive. As a result the trademark application will be refused.




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Jane Coyle
This entry was posted on October 23, 2015 and is filed under Trade Marks. You can follow our blog through the RSS 2.0 feed.