What shall I not include in my trade mark?
When registering a trade mark, it is extremely important that you are aware what you can and cannot not use in the creation of your mark. There are rules and regulations that you must be aware of when you are considering what you want to include in your mark.
Focusing on what cannot be included there are a number of different areas where clear words phrases or logos cannot be included in your mark.
The first area that can in no way be a part of a trade mark is offensive language or symbols. A business’s trade mark is the viewpoint of any potential customers and is the basis of its reputation. Therefore a good reputation cannot be built on an offensive mark. Any application that is deemed to include any offensive wording or images will automatically be refused by the UK Intellectual Property Office.
The second type of mark that will be automatically refused registration is descriptive marks. The key objective of a trade mark is to be unique. Therefore if a mark is found to be descriptive of the goods it represents or the industry it is used in, it will be deemed descriptive. Allowing your mark to become descriptive will not only greatly reduce your chances of protection; it will also prevent any chance of your potential customers singling you out from your competitors.
Lastly, you cannot include any protected emblems or symbols in your trade mark. Your mark has to clearly show that it originates from you and does not give any affiliation to any other organisation or group. Therefore any protected emblem cannot be included in your application. The symbols in question include armorial bearings, flags and state emblems, official signs, hallmarks as well as any symbol that will indicate an organisation or the Royal Family.
Take care when creating your mark that you do not fall foul of any of these unacceptable elements. For further guidance on what to include, contact Jane at The Trademarkroom.
By Ellis Sweetenham