HC Deb 20 January 1986 vol 90 c14W
Mr. Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the criteria governing decisions on applications for the registering of national symbols as trade marks.

Mr. Pattie

In the United Kingdom, there is a statutory bar to the registration as trade marks of the royal arms, royal crowns and the royal and national flags. Similarly, these may not be included as elements of registered trade marks. The United Kingdom also observes the Paris convention for the protection of Industrial Property. This provides, inter alia, that emblems of the states subscribing to the convention shall not be registered as trade marks nor shall trade marks be registered in which those emblems appear as elements. The registrar ensures that these prohibitions are observed.

Applications for the registration in their own right of commonplace elements which sometimes figure in national symbols eg a lion or unicorn or thistle or leek are considered on their merits against the more general criteria for registration. There is no statutory bar to their registration.