What is a trademark?
The Benelux Treaty on Intellectual Property specifies what can function as a trademark. Names, drawings, prints, stamps, letters, figures, colours, sounds, shapes of goods or of packaging and all other signs that can be represented graphically, which serve to distinguish the goods of a company.
A trademark can therefore only function as a trademark if it has distinctiveness.
This distinctiveness is an extremely difficult factor to define. Names that lack distinctiveness will be clear. The name paint specialist will have no distinctiveness for the products paints and varnishes. The name is descriptive and cannot be monopolised. The same name for milk products is misleading. In both of the above applications, the authorities will reject the application to register the name as a trademark on absolute grounds.
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