To be or not to be descriptive


Raluca Vasilescu

Romania’s national Trademark Law contains provisions on the absolute grounds for refusing an application that is very similar to those in most European countries.

For example, an application for a mark should be refused if:

  • The related sign is devoid of distinctive character, or
  • It consists exclusively of signs that may serve in trade to designate the kind, quantity, quality, value or other characteristics of the goods or services, or
  • The application consists exclusively of a sign or indication that has become commonplace in current language or in established practices, or
  • The application consists exclusively of the shape of the goods or said shape is necessary to obtain a technical result or gives substantial value to the goods.

Romania’s patent office can ask the applicant to give a disclaimer for a part of the mark, if it is devoid of distinctive character. The disclaimer is published together with the application.

There is a growing number of applications for marks that tread a fine line between being distinctive and devoid of distinctive character, several of which have been published in the National Bulletin and have passed an examination on absolute grounds.

Romania Trademark Law, trademark application