What are the absolute Statutory Objections?
- Trade marks which are devoid of any distinctive character, that is to say they lack the capacity to distinguish. This materializes when the mark is so simple such as a star or a letter or too complicated or merely a slogan consisting of a recommendation to use or buy the goods. A trade mark lacks distinctiveness when it becomes in general use or becomes so associated with the type of goods to the extent of becoming a generic description of those goods. Arbitrary marks are the best choice when selecting a trade mark since they have no meaning associated with the owner’s products or services.
- Trade marks that designate characteristics of the goods or services such as quality, geographical origin, intended purpose value, the time of production of goods or rendering services, or other characteristics of goods or services. Again, trademarks that incarnate shapes resulting from the nature of the goods themselves would not be registered. This is because it is least likely that satisfactory distinctiveness can be shown. The same applies to shapes of goods necessary to get a technical result or provide substantial value to goods.
- Trademarks which consist exclusively of signs or indications which have become customary on the current language or in the bona fide and established practices of the trade of the country, a customary designation of the goods concerned. However, objection may be defeated by countervailing evidence if actual use has been proved to the effect that in fact as a result of use the mark has acquired a distinctive character. Nonetheless, Marks which are unavoidably descriptive or geographical could not be registered even if there is conclusive evidence that in trade they were understood to be the applicant trademark. In respect to geographical origin no person should acquire exclusive rights in a geographical name without convincing evidence that the name has been appropriated to trademark purposes by actual use. If the public conceives the name as to indicate the locality from which the goods come or in which they were conceived or designed, the objection to registration must arise.
- If the trade mark is contrary to public policy or accepted principles of morality.
- If the trade mark is of such a nature as to deceive the public in connection with the nature, quality or geographical origin of the goods or services.
- Trade marks which resemble or depict the portrait of a character of any religious or any sectarian significance or which involve the use without relevant authorization of armorial bearings, flags and any other state emblems.
- Use of a trademark contrary to law would not be entertained. For example a use which is contrary to Consumer Protection Law such as using tobacco marks in connection with other goods or services.