• Trademarks
    • Designs

    What types of trademark do not require protection?

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    Generic names are not eligible for protection: the words ‘chair,’ ‘beer’ or related words. Misleading words are also refused: BEERKOMPANIE is a distinctive trademark for beer, but misleading for strong liquor. Descriptive terms such as ‘ironing shop’ or ‘care hotel’ are also not eligible for protection. Terms which allude to a quality or other property of the product or service (such as ‘super’ or ‘ecoflex’) cannot be protected. Finally, flags, emblems of national and international organisations and authorities (e.g. the stars of the European Union) are not protected.

     What do the ® and ™ symbols mean?

    The letter ‘R’ means that a trademark is registered, while the letters ‘TM’ indicate that trademark rights are claimed, e.g. because the registration procedure has begun.

     What action must be taken if your trademark already seems to be registered?

    Your IP advisor can investigate which trademark was registered first, in other words who has the oldest rights. In consultation with you, your IP advisor can then take appropriate action. This may be to select another name, take over the existing name or, perhaps, some other suitable option.

    Related Questions

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