Absolute Grounds for Invalidity

Absolute grounds for invalidity refer to certain criteria that, if not met, can make a trademark invalid from the moment of registration. These criteria are independent of any other trademarks or prior use of the mark.

In most countries, the absolute grounds for invalidity include:

  1. Lack of distinctiveness: A trademark must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one business from those of another. If a trademark is too generic or descriptive, it may not be distinctive enough to serve as a trademark.
  2. Deceptiveness: A trademark cannot be deceptive or misleading, and must not falsely suggest a connection with another business or product.
  3. Immorality: A trademark cannot be contrary to public policy or morality, such as marks that promote hate or discrimination.
  4. Descriptiveness: A trademark that describes the characteristics, qualities or intended purpose of the goods or services cannot be registered unless it has acquired a secondary meaning through long-term use and association with a specific business.
  5. Generic terms: A trademark that consists solely of a generic term or phrase that describes the goods or services cannot be registered as a trademark.