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Old 12-04-2004, 09:24 PM
Harold Dewer
 
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Default Registering a commonplace name as a trademark

This is a question about an abstruse item of food, but goes to the
point of registering the name of a commonplace object as a trademark.

An Australian company is claiming the word "Freekeh" as a trademark.
It is starting to manufacture it with a government grant..

See

http://www.greenwheatfreekeh.com.au/gwfabout.htm

and associated links.

Freekeh is a preparation of dried green wheat used in eastern
Mediterranean lands. Many brands of freekeh exist and are imported
into Australia.

However the name frekeh is not fixed in the English of Australian
cuisine, as are the words 'puffed wheat', 'bulgur' or 'couscous' for
other products of wheat.

Internationally, other users of the word freekeh don't acknowledge it
as a trademark, for example on the web:

http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/pe...ticleID=109426

and in print "A cook’s guide to grains" by Jenni Muir.

What kind of preemptive challenge can be made to the successful
registration of a commonplace name?

Or do you just have to wait for a letter from the company's
solicitors?