The dangers of laudatory marks

Prior to filing for a UK trade mark, there are a number of things to consider in order to heighten your chances of a successful application.

One of the key things to consider is whether your brand name could be regarded as laudatory by an examiner during the first stage of the trade mark application process.

What is a laudatory term?

A laudatory term is one that attributes to the quality or excellence of a product and/or service, for example, ‘the super salon’ or ‘the world’s best dog groomer’.

The reason why laudatory marks are generally considered ‘unregistrable’ is because they represent the idea of giving praise to a product or service and are merely describing the product or service in a way which would promote it to the consumer. Moreover, these types of marks are generally considered to be devoid of distinctive character which, in accordance with the Section 3 of Trade Marks Act 1994, is one of the absolute grounds for refusal.

Another reason why laudatory marks are refused is because they can sometimes give a false indication as to the quality of a product. If for example a mark were to be called ‘the world’s cheapest chocolate’ and this was untrue, this could result in consumers being misled into buying into a product or service which has been falsely advertised.

However this is not to say that all laudatory marks will be rejected. If a trade mark application is not exclusively laudatory and the applicant can evidence an element of distinctive character, then the chances of the application succeeding may be heightened.

We always recommend that in order to save time and expenses, it is best to avoid marks containing laudatory terms completely. The more unique the mark is, the greater chances of a successfully application.

If you have any questions regarding trade marks, please contact the Trademarkroom today.

Sena Tokel

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