The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.
Gustave Flaubert

Saturday 29 January 2011


The effect of permitting the registration of undeserving trade marks, including material that is not actually used as a trade mark but which forms part of a larger trade mark - for example, an adjective used by a business in conjunction with a verb in its product or corporate name, or both. The adjective-plus-noun clearly constitutes a trade mark, but neither word is distinctive by itself and is not used without the other element. When the adjective is a primary colour, this has a serious impact on the ability of other businesses to use a trade mark of their choice and may amount to an unjustified appropriation of a part of ordinary speech.

The process or registering trade marks for a wide - often ridiculously wide - range of goods and services, such that the trade mark becomes more like a copyright and even tends towards being a monopoly right also achieves this effect. The fact that a trade mark that is not used on goods or for services for which it is registered for five years or more provides no antidote to this practice until five years has elapsed, and the requirement that an application be made in good faith is rarely effective in such cases.

See also foreclosure.

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