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Thursday, 11 December 2003

FROM HERE TO MATERNITY

The IPKat, while scouring the web, found this rather odd little registry decision. Casa Damiani applied to register its international registration of the MATERNITY mark for precious metals and stones and jewellery etc. in the UK under the Madrid Protocol. The Registry refused the application. As well as deciding against the applicant on a procedural point, it also found that the mark was descriptive under s.3(1)(c) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 as it could not distinguish Casa Damiani’s goods from those of other undertakings. The relevant consumer would perceive the mark as used in relation to the goods in question as an indication that the goods sold bearing the sign were suitable to be offered as gifts or tokens of love and devotion in response to the news that the recipient is pregnant, or that the recipient has given birth. They would perceive the mark in same way as they would see the words ETERNITY, WEDDING or ENGAGEMENT. In other words, consumers would see the mark as an indication that the goods were suitable for that particular event, rather than as a sign denoting trade origin. For the same reason, the mark was devoid of distinctive character under s.3(1)(b).

The IPKat thinks that although it sounds strange at first to think of maternity as describing jewellery, why would that mark have been chosen, except to designate the occasions on which the jewellery is to be given. While it does not describe the goods themselves, it does describe an aspect of their intended purpose.

Joys of maternity here, here and here


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