A trade mark must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services in relation to which the mark is used or proposed to be used, from the same kind of goods or services connected in the course of trade with any other person.

If your trade mark includes text (one or more words) you may wish to consider the following commonly used criteria for creating, designing or selecting it:

• The sign should be easy to read, spell, pronounce and remember in all relevant languages

• It should have no adverse meaning in slang or undesirable connotations;

• It should be suitable for export markets with no adverse meaning in foreign languages, especially if you intend to commercialize the product abroad

• It should not create confusion as to the nature of the product

• It should be adaptable to all advertising media.

A mark may not be registered if:

– the use of the mark would lead to confusion.
– the mark comprises or contains scandalous material.
– the mark is prescribed as a prohibited mark.
– the use of which would be contrary to the law.
– the mark would not, for any other reason, be entitled to the protection of
a court of law.
– the mark is identical to a trade mark, belonging to a different proprietor, already
on the Register in respect of the same goods or services.
– the mark so clearly represents a trade mark already on the register in respect of
the same goods or services as to cause confusion.

This article has been written for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. For legal advice on trademark issues, contact our Intellectual Property team.

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