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Meaning and Characteristics of generic words in Trade Mark

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Manuel Akinshola
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Meaning of generic name

"Generic name as described in the Blacks Law Dictionary Eight division is a term that describes something generally without designating the things source or creator such as the word "car" or "sink".

Ffor example Apples can be a trade mark for computers but not for Apples.

Equally a name may be generic if used with one product but arbitrary if used with another. For instance "Bicycle" may be registered to identify playing cards but it could not be protected as a mark to identify bicycles.

Distinctive marks are arbitrary in nature and are entitled to be protected.

The arbitrary trade mark contains common words that do not describe or suggest any characteristic of the product to which the trade mark is assigned."


Per NWODO, J.C.A. in VIRGIN ENT. LTD. v. MOHAMMED (2009) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1151) 136 C.A.