Shouldve registered your trademark?

Shouldve registered your trademark?

Imagine that your local Optician Mr Robinson were to have a marketing campaign using a poster showing a shepherd shearing the coat from his shaggy collie dog, among a group of bemused looking sheep, with the tag-line “He shouldve gone to Robinsons”.

I expect you would immediately think – that’s a bit of a liberty, using the Specsavers idea.

But does that mean that Specsavers actually own the words “shouldve” and “should’ve”?

If someone asks you whether you would like a drink and you answer “Probably” – what are you asking for? A Carlsberg, probably.

This week in legal circles there is a bit of a discussion about Specsavers who have, subject to objections, been allowed English registration of the trademarks “SHOULDVE” and “SHOULD’VE”.

Here is the link to the IPO site.

So it would seem that the use of the trademarked works above is now proscribed. One might imagine an English seaside cafe owner selling his fish and chips in cartons printed “Spanish Tummy? Shouldve come to Blackpool”.

Best not do that now, not any more, if they want to avoid a letter from HGF LLP. In future, the words must be SHOULD HAVE, or trouble awaits.

There is a degree of surprise in all this, after all, they are just English words? So does this mean that Theakston’s can register the word “Masham” as a trademark? You tell me.

I note that my Google spell-checker rejects “shouldve” as a word, but it does find “should’ve” to be acceptable dictionary English.

What do you think? You have a few weeks to object direct to the IPO [Intellectual Property Office] if you feel strongly.

What do I think? Not particularly bothered really, but a bit lost in admiration for the trademark lawyers HGF LLP [of Leeds]. I wonder, did they actually expect the registration application to succeed? They won’t be answering that I imagine, so I shouldve known better than to ask.

Only one possible song for this week then – Link here

As always, whenever you require any help with Notarisations and foreign legal documents, please do not hesitate to contact me or Christopher Atkinson here at AtkinsonNotary [0113 816 0116 or] where we shall be more than happy to assist further.