Trademark smells?

Can I trademark smells? Can a shape be trademarked? This is recurrent question we get asked as our clients are mostly in the creative industries.

A trademark sign must be capable of being represented graphically. This means that it must be in some kind of physical form. But contemporary culture has evolved so that purely physical representation alone cannot always capture the distinction between goods and services. Sounds, and colours have also been accepted as being capable of graphic representation even though sound, for example, lacks physical form. Even tastes and personal names can now be registered as trade marks. In other words, an application for a trademark sign can be supported with evidence to prove that the mark is clearly distinctive of the origin of a good or service therefore making it capable of graphic representation. So an application for a sound can be supported with a verbal description and a musical score.

Read more

Valuing trademarks

Valuing trademarks was recently the first order of business at a meeting regarding a new Internet based start-up. The usual suspects were in attendance including advertisers, marketers, investors and accountants. After the presentation, one of the investors asked the presenters, “What about the IP?”. The investor was referring to the fact that the presentation had not covered any type of proprietary intellectual property rights.

Read more