A trade mark with laudatory meaning is??????

Trade mark registration in the UK and worldwide can be a minefield. There is so much to consider and the different issues that an examiner will have to explore under the absolute grounds for refusal are different for many people to take into account when thinking up a brand name that they wish to register as a trade mark. One of the issues that will be rejected is if the trade mark has laudatory meaning. A head scratcher and not a word that is thrown about every day.

However, a mark that has laudatory meaning is more common than applicants realise, and something that needs to be considered before deciding on a mark. It essentially relates to a mark that makes a descriptive or bold statement within the words, relating to the goods and services they provide, but in a different way to just describing the goods and services outright. This is not meant to help any understanding and in fact examples help.

An example of a mark with laudatory mark would arguably have promotional value to it. ‘We are the best’ gives as statement that is misleading. ‘coolest clothes around’ is another example or even using the word ‘gold’ in the mark can be considered as having laudatory meaning. The reason for this would was argued in ‘BONUS GOLD’ [1998] RPC 859 where it was upheld that the word gold is only possible of having two uses within the financial services sector as a mark; one is used in a laudatory fashion, and the other is the obvious meaning as a precious metal or colour which naturally would attract an objection on those characteristics anyway.

This is different to the descriptive element where there are two elements that the examiner will consider for absolute grounds. The first is an application being devoid of distinctive character (example is it having laudatory meaning) and the other being solely descriptive of the goods and services. Descriptive is different to laudatory because when a mark is descriptive it is specifically stating for example ‘cars’ for cars, or ‘soap’ for soap and ‘drink’ for drink.

For further information or even just to speak further about the above, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can help guide you through every aspect of your trade mark registration and any other intellectual property or commercial matters that you may need support with.

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