What is not eligible for trademark protection?

Not all symbols, designs, phrases, or combinations thereof are eligible for trademark protection. The following are examples of what is not eligible for trademark protection:

  1. Generic terms: Generic terms, such as “apple” for fruit or “coffee” for a beverage, cannot be trademarked because they are too common and cannot be exclusively associated with a particular brand.
  2. Descriptive terms: Descriptive terms, such as “juicy” for fruit or “fresh” for baked goods, cannot be trademarked because they describe the goods themselves and cannot be exclusively associated with a particular brand.
  3. Common symbols or designs: Common symbols or designs, such as a simple heart shape, cannot be trademarked because they are too generic and cannot be exclusively associated with a particular brand.
  4. Merely ornamental designs: Designs that are purely ornamental and do not serve to identify the source of goods or services cannot be trademarked.
  5. Deceptive or immoral marks: Trademarks that are deceptive or immoral, such as those that suggest a false connection with a person, institution, or national symbol, or that are scandalous or offensive, cannot be trademarked.
  6. Confusingly similar marks: Trademarks that are too similar to existing trademarks, or that are likely to confuse consumers, cannot be trademarked.

In conclusion, not all symbols, designs, phrases, or combinations thereof are eligible for trademark protection. To be eligible for trademark protection, a trademark must be distinctive, non-descriptive, non-deceptive, and not confusingly similar to existing trademarks. By understanding what is not eligible for trademark protection, businesses can better evaluate their trademark options and protect their brand in the marketplace.