What is distinctive about ‘distinctive character’ and who decides?

By Julius Stobbs

Consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to understanding brands, which is highly relevant to the understanding of ‘distinctive character’. However, courts and tribunals are not keeping up with this trend in their decisions

Distinctive character is one of, if not the, key concept in trademark law. It determines what can be registered and what cannot, and is one of the key aspects to understanding how consumer confusion occurs and thus the scope of any registration. Whether a mark is distinctive and how distinctive it is are central questions in almost all trademark matters.

Want to read more?

Register to access two of our subscriber only articles per month

Subscribe for unlimited access to articles, in-depth analysis and research from the World Trademark Review experts

Already registered? Log in

What our customers are saying

World Trademark Review is simply the first resource I will go to for trademark-related information, whether about the latest trademark law development or case news, top trademark practitioners or interesting trademark events.

Jerry F Xia
Deputy general counsel and chief IP counsel – Asia-Pacific, corporate law department


Subscribe to World Trademark Review to receive access to the full range of trademark intelligence, insight, and case law, as well as our guides, rankings and daily market insight delivered to your inbox.

Why subscribe?


Register for more free content

  • Read more World Trademark Review blogs and articles
  • Receive the editor's weekly review by email
Register now  
Issue 74