In the eyes of a trademark attorney a good trademark is an appealing word or logo which has sufficient distinctiveness. But even when these circumstances are met, not every word or symbol qualifies as a good trademark: some words or symbols belong to the culture of a country and should remain free of commerce and should therefore not be the subject of a trademark claim. At least, that is what the general opinion tells us. Although this general opinion is not decisive, in these kind of cases it is advisable to take this opinion into account.
A nice recent example of this is the Icelandic HÚ shout that became famous during the previous European championship football. Icelandic supporters sang this shout loudly and this made a big impression. One person (from Iceland) registered the word HÚH as a trademark for clothing in Iceland. When an artist brought t-shirts to the market with the word HÚ on it, this person objected to these t-shirts, with a large public outrage as a result. How could such a culturally embedded word be registered as a brand?
It is not up to a trademark agency to make these kinds of considerations. If a trademark meets the requirements, then it must be accepted. It is up to the applicant to decide whether this is a clever thing to do. This creates negative publicity and at the end, nobody wants to buy your brand anymore. In this case, the Icelandic has expressed his regret, after all.
Source: Trademark Lawyer Magazine
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