What kinds of marks cannot be registered?
Generally speaking, the following type of marks cannot be registered:
- names and surnames;
- words that are clearly descriptive (i.e., that denote an inherent feature of the good or service), for example, sweet ice cream;
- words that are misleading;
- words that denote a geographical location commonly known to be the place of origin of such goods and services, for example, Atlantic cod; words or symbols that are too similar to an existing or registered trade-mark;
- the name of the goods and/or services in any language; and
- words and symbols that are expressly prohibited under the Trade-marks Act (which include symbols, such as coats of arms, badges, and crests, of national and international organizations, and words that are considered immoral or offensive).
Other types of marks which cannot be registered are plant variety denominations and protected geographical indications for wines and spirits.