What is a trade mark?
A trade mark is a sign that, when associated with a product, distinguishes it from similar competing products. This may be words, a logo or a combination of the two.
Registering your trade mark gives you the exclusive right in Guernsey to use your mark (for the goods and services specified in the application) for 10 years. After this, the trade mark may be renewed for another period of 10 years.
In order for a trade mark to be registrable it must be:
- Distinctive. This means that the mark to be registered must differentiate your product from someone else's.
A trade mark is not registrable if it:
- Is not distinctive
- Is descriptive - for example if it describes the product for which the trade mark application has been submitted
- Is deceptive - for example a logo which clearly shows coffee cannot be registered as a trade mark for tea, as this is misleading.
- Is contrary to public policy or morality
- Is against the law - for example promoting an illegal product
- Contains a specially protected emblem (see section 4 of the Trade Marks (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Ordinance, 2006)
- Has become customary in your line of trade