The directors of the FSA agreed that, as per Intellectual Property Office guidelines, terms that are generic for this sector should not be trademarked by any organisation. The directors also agreed that, as the UK wide professional body for Forest School, the FSA has a role in highlighting the matter when generic terms may be in the process of being trademarked.

A trademark application for the terms ‘Forest School Kindergarten’ and ‘Forest Schools kindergarten’ was made to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) at the end of 2013.

In the specific matter of the trademark application, UK00003033940, made by Archimedes Trading Ltd, the directors of the FSA agreed that both the terms are generic terms used to describe practice and services in this sector. They are non distinctive and should therefore be free for everyone in this sector to use.

The FSA wrote to the directors of Archimedes Trading Ltd to explain our position and requested that they withdraw the trademark application for both of these terms. The response indicated that they were not willing to withdraw the application in its entirety.

In this context the FSA directors agreed to write to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) making third party observations on the application. The FSA directors agreed to write a joint letter to the IPO with other national and UK level organisations who have expressed concern. On 6th March 2014 the FSA, the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, Forest School Wales and Forest Education Network wrote to the IPO. This letter may be seen through this link.

The Intellectual Property Office refused trade mark application UK00003033940.

The reference to this decision may been seen through this link on the IPO website.

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