“Radio Israel” – too generic to be protected by a trademark

An internet radio service provider has attempted to get a trademark for “Radio Israel” in Hebrew letters. The Israel Trademark Application No. 218060 is reproduced below.

Whilst accepting that competition from similar services damages the applicant’s business, the Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks ruled that the trademark was highly descriptive and near the generic extreme of the distinctive-to-generic spectrum. Furthermore, there was a problem that the logo could confusingly be understood as implying links to the State and some official national authorization. In this regard, the turquoise and white colour scheme cannot have helped.

Applicants submitted evidence from Google clicks to show that their business was being harmed by copycat service providers. The Assistant Commissioner rejected their arguments, by noting that the Google searchers were apparently looking for the service, i.e. links to Israeli radio channels, and not a particular service provider. This, according to the Assistant Commissioner, merely emphasized the generic nature of the name.

Categories: Intellectual Property, Internet, Israel, Israel IP, Israel Patent Office, Israel Patent Office Rulings, Israel Trademark, trademarks

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