Generally, there are seven categories of marks that cannot be protected. These categories include marks that are not distinctive, generic or deceptive.

These categories include geographically misdescriptive marks that deceptively identify the geographic origin of a mark. An example of this type of mark would be a type of cheese that is made in the U.S. but is identified as being from a particular region in France.

These categories may also include common surnames or scandalous marks, depending upon the laws of a particular country.

Finally, certain words are entitled to special protection by state agencies. In the U.S., the word “Olympic” is an example of that type of mark. The term is protected by statute.

The remedies for trademark infringement in most countries are similar to the remedies for copyright infringement.