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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jan 27, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 1/22)
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Examination Criteria on Likelihood of Confusion Revised

The Taiwan Trademark Office (TIPO) has revised the Examination Criteria on Likelihood of Confusion to provide trademark examiners with even more specific guidelines on evaluating the likelihood of confusion when examining trademark applications. In doing so, TIPO has referred to the examination guidelines of the EUIPO, the JPO, the USPTO, and the judicial practice of Taiwan. The amended entered into force on October 27, 2021.

The revision has laid down principles for evaluating the degree of distinctiveness of trademark elements, assessing each trademark as a whole, facilitating comparisons between individual parts of compound word marks, and judging the similarity between existing words/phrases and phonetic characters, comprehensively illustrated with examples.

An additional criterion, “channels of distribution or points of sale,” was included in the list of determining factors for the degree of similarities between goods and services. Several determining factors were modified, for example, whether the business of the proprietor of the earlier registered trademark pursues a diversification strategy for example.

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