Many trade marks have a descriptive element to them, most commonly being the words of the trade mark itself.

However, during the examination by the government your trade mark will be examined as to whether it is too descriptive in relation to your goods or services, and it will face an objection if it is found to be too descriptive because other traders may need to use those words (or  similar) to legitimately describe their own goods or services.  For example, a trade mark for the plain words “TRADE MARK LAWYER” in relation to trade mark legal services would be rejected as too descriptive because no one trader should have a legal monopoly on that term.  However, even less obviously descriptive trade marks an receive a descriptiveness objection.

One option for overcoming such a descriptiveness objection is to consider developing a logo. That is, a logo which features the otherwise descriptive words of the trade mark.  The effect of a logo is often that the significance of the words within are reduced and so are less objectionable on a descriptiveness basis. While logo marks featuring words will not provide as strong legal protection to the words as would a plain words trade mark, they usually retain some good protection for the words they contain.

By way of example, the below trade marks are around the minimum complexity you will need to avoid a descriptiveness objection. Both have an element, the chef’s hat or pyramid, that is in itself capable of being a trade mark (because it is more than a mere geometric shape), and therefore distinguishes the overall trade mark.

The below trade marks were not sufficiently “fancy” to overcome the objections to the descriptive words within them.

Logo trade marks can also have the advantage of further distinguishing your mark from prior trade marks. The more complex the logo, the less prominence the words it contains will be given in any trade mark comparison.

As part of our service, we will work with you to develop a logo that has the best prospects of avoiding a descriptiveness objection.