I.Protect: ‘Christmas’ as a trademark

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Clint Fabiosa & Ana Liza Villamor

SINCE a trademark is any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of an enterprise, can the word “Christmas” be registered as a trademark? A look at the Philippine Intellectual Property Office website (trademarks.ipophil.gov.ph) will show the following registered marks with “Christmas” in them:

1) “CHRISTMAS BLEND” for coffee (owned by Starbucks Corp.);

2) “MERRY CHRISTMAS TREE & DEVICE” for Christmas tree and Christmas décor;

3) “CHRISTMAS TREASURY CO. AND DEVICE” for ornaments for Christmas trees;

4) “OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD” for charitable fund raising services to promote donations of gifts to needy children; and

5) “CHRISTMAS CASH” for lottery games.

It is curious why some of these marks were registered considering that they seem to be merely descriptive of the goods and services that they cover. Until cancelled through the appropriate proceedings however, these registered marks are deemed valid.

(clint.fabiosa@iprotect.ph / analiza.villamor@iprotect.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 14, 2012.


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