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Registrability of a Trade Mark

Registrability of a Trade Mark

A mark or sign may be registered as a trade mark if it can be represented graphically and is capable of distinguishing goods or services in respect of which it is used - such a mark or sign may include a word, name, design, letter and numeral or the shape of the product and its packaging.

Registration will, however, be refused if the mark or sign is not distinctive, if it is generic in nature, or if it relates to characteristics of the goods or services. In addition, packaging is not registerable where the shape of that packaging results from the nature of the goods, if the shape is necessary for a technical reason, or if the shape gives substantial value to the goods.

Registration will also be refused under the following circumstances: it is identical to an earlier mark for similar goods or services, it is similar to a mark for identical or similar goods or services (and confusion on the part of the public may arise), or it is identical to a mark for dissimilar goods and such registration would damage or take unfair advantage of the earlier mark. It will not be refused however if you obtain the consent of the proprietor of the relevant pre-existing registered mark.

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