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CARIAD - is love registrable?

The UK IPO's decision to register the word CARIAD for candles in class 4 has been criticised by another manufacturer of candles, on the basis that they consider that this term should be free for other traders to use.

When assessing whether a word can be registered as a trade mark, the UK IPO will refuse trade mark protection for terms which are deemed to describe the goods or services covered by a trade mark application, or where such words are not distinctive of the goods or services the application covers.

Furthermore, when examining trade marks not in the English language, the examiner will consider whether a customer would be likely to understand the meaning of the word. In this case, CARIAD means "love" in Welsh.

So, can you protect the word "love" as a trade mark? Where a term has no particular meaning and is deemed sufficiently distinctive in relation to the goods or services in question, the examiner can determine that it is capable of registration. Therefore, it is for third parties to object if they have grounds to do so or if they consider the decision to be incorrect.

Cariad, another Welsh word hiraeth, and Welsh cake, have all been registered as trade marks by candle-maker Fizzy Foam. It means other businesses making similar products cannot use the terms.

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brands, brands designs copyright, trade mark and design