A chilled out decision from the UK Trade Marks Registry.
The applicant applied to register LICK ME ICE CREAM for ice cream and other frozen desserts under Class 30 of the Nice Agreement. The application was opposed by Minghella Ltd, which argued that the mark was descriptive and lacked distinctiveness because the mark was entirely descriptive of the way that ice cream is consumed, and consequently would not be viewed as a badge of origin. [Not so says the IPKat – one should never underestimate the joys of biting into ice cream].
On the issue of distinctiveness, while LICK ME would be seen as an invitation to eat the product, it was unusual both for being gramatically incorrect, and because it was the product itself which was extending the invitation. Consequently, it would be seen as a badge of origin and consumers would be able to use the sign to make repeat purchages if the ice cream proved tasty.
The sign also wasn’t descriptive. the quality. While the term LICK ME would be seen as saying that the ice cream was ‘so good that you will want to lick it in order to prolong the experience, this was not a usual method of describing ice creams.
The IPKat says that clearly Mr Hearing Office Salthouse hasn’t read Alice Through the Looking Glass. On a more serious note, the IPKat can begrudgingly see why the mark doesn’t fit within any of the grounds for the refusal of registration, but at the same time, it still feels like the sort of term that other traders might need to use.