Can love to be a trademark?

Recent registration of a word mark has been in the public eye in the UK as BBC reports in this article.

The case concerns a trademark for Cariad registered for candles by Fizzy Foam company. In translation from Welsh, this means Love.

Another company that uses the name for its candles has expressed criticism regarding the fact that such widespread words are monopolized only by one undertaking.

As a matter of fact, this is completely possible from a legal point of view. According to trademark legislation in most countries around the world, one name can be protected as far as it is distinctive and not descriptive of the goods and services mentioned by the application. Bear in mind that the legal protection of trademarks covers only these precise goods and services, for everything else the relevant name can be used by everyone, especially in cases where it describes the relevant goods or services.

However, one word with meaning can be a trademark for not related goods or services. The classic example is APPLE, which is a trademark for tech products but it cannot be such one for selling apples.

So in the case at hand, the only argument that I can think of against the registration is the probable low distinctive character of Cariad for candles because they are related to a romantic atmosphere, although this would require solid facts to be proved. The main meaning of the word has no direct connection with candles so it is not descriptive per se.


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