Trademark registration is an essential aspect of protecting intellectual property rights. When a business or an individual wishes to register a trademark that is a foreign word, several considerations must be taken into account. One of the significant elements that need to be evaluated in such cases is the level of familiarity with the foreign language in the country where the trademark is being registered.
Suppose the foreign word has a different meaning in the country where the trademark is being registered than its home country. In that case, it may lead to confusion among consumers, which can negatively impact the business’s brand value. It is essential to consider the extent to which the foreign language is known in the country where the trademark is being registered, e.g., the sport utility vehicle by Mitsubishi named Pajero caused embarrassment in Spain due to the slang meaning of the word “pajero” in the Spanish language. Consequently, the company had to change the name of the vehicle from “Pajero” to “Montero”.
Another crucial factor to consider is the pronunciation of the foreign word. The same word may have different pronunciations in different languages. This variation can cause confusion among consumers and result in a negative impact on the brand’s reputation. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the foreign word’s pronunciation is easily recognizable and pronounceable in the country where the trademark is being registered.
In some cases, one of the trademarks being compared may be an ordinary English word, while the other may be a foreign word. This situation can make it less likely for consumers to confuse the two marks, even if they have a similar sound or appearance. For example, the mark “Summer Breeze” was not considered confusingly similar to “Solibrisa,” a modification of the Spanish word “Soly Brisa,” meaning “sun and breeze” as “Summer Breeze” is an ordinary English word that is easily distinguishable from the foreign word “Solibrisa.”
In conclusion, registering a trademark that is a foreign word requires careful consideration. Businesses and individuals must evaluate the familiarity of the foreign language in the country where the trademark is being registered and ensure that the word’s pronunciation is recognizable and easily pronounceable. Additionally, it is essential to consider the context in which the foreign word is being used to prevent confusion among consumers. By taking these factors into account, businesses and individuals can protect their intellectual property rights.