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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jan 27, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 1/22)
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New Trade Marks Act Published

On August 20, 2021, the new Fijian Trademarks Act was published, replacing the Trade-Marks Act 1933 and the Merchandise Marks Act 1933 once it comes into force.

Some of the main changes are the following:
- Adoption of the Paris Convention which will allow claims for convention priority.
- Introduction of the Nice Classification system of goods and services to avoid the current need to re-classify goods to fit the old UK based system dating from the 1930’s.
- Allowance of Multiple class coverage.
- Introduction of non-traditional trademarks (such as colours, smells, sounds and tastes).
- Removal of provisions to allow for re-registration of UK trademark registrations.
- Adoption of a 10-year renewal period, bringing Fiji into line with the international standard.
- Mandatory requirement that consent to registration be accepted from owners of relative rights.
- Provisions for recognition of Geographical Indications.
- Clearer provisions on status of expired trademark rights.
- The onus will shift to the owner of a trademark to prove use in non-use revocation actions, but the 5-year grace period remains.
- Allowance made for future accession to Madrid Protocol and designation of Fiji.

For more information, please check here. The Act can be accessed here

Source: AJ Park, New Zealand