Is Your Trademark Registerable?

MAR 15, 2017

We now know that a ‘trade mark’ – which can also be referred to as a ‘word mark’ or a ‘logo mark’ — is a unique way of identifying a product.

However, not every ‘unique’ logo can be registered under the law. So here are a few questions to consider before applying for your mark to be registered.

Is your trade mark unique? Is it highly fanciful; a made-up word; or an image that allows your products or services to be immediately identified?

Fanciful marks are those marks whose only function is to serve as a trade mark. They are considered to be the strongest type of trade mark as they are usually made-up words or common words that have no relation to the goods or services they’re applied to. Some examples

of fanciful trade marks include SAMSUNG, KODAK, and Apple.

Your trade mark may also include words, symbols, letters, numbers, logos, colours, or any combination of these. More specifically, a word mark registers a word or words only; and a logo mark gives rights for a combination of images, designs and words (you may also want to apply for a logo mark in specific colours).

Here are a few examples of logo combination marks:

You should also decide whether your mark may be considered offensive, misleading or generic. For ex-ample, marks that have offensive words, and marks that claim to have

a certain characteristic (such as being ‘organic’ when they are not) may be refused registration. If your mark is a common term in the trade, such as ‘laundromat’ for a laundry shop, it will be refused registration.

Before applying for your trade mark to be registered, also consider whether your mark would be con-sidered distinctive or descriptive.

Distinctive trade marks have no other meaning except to identify their specific goods or services, or they are common terms used in relation to arbitrary goods:

LOTUS for software

CAMEL for cigarettes

Descriptive marks clearly describe the goods or services you will be providing:

GRAPE for soda (describes the flavour)

LIGHT for laptops (describing the computer’s weight)

People love to express their national pride by incorporating national or

organisational emblems, coats of arms and flags in their mark. But registration of state symbols, flags or other protected emblems are prohibited unless you have the permission of the respective government or international organisation.

If you want to incorporate the Cay-man Islands national symbols in your mark, you must provide the trade mark examiner with proof that you have permission to use it. Other-wise, your mark may be refused reg-istration.

So now that you know what to con-sider when designing your trade mark, let’s get creating Cayman!

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