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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Sep 22, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 13/22)
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New Exam Guidelines on TM Distinctiveness

On 1 September 2022, new guidelines came into effect on examination of trademark distinctiveness.

Therein, TIPO has provided examples for various types of trademarks and ensured that the basis on which distinction is determined for trademarks aligns with current market transactions.

Main revisions are as follows:

- Adaptations to the different compositional patterns of foreign alphabets; providing reference examples for determining whether descriptions are designed and distinctive.
- Addition of assessment criteria and example explanations for “alphanumeric combinations” and “numbers” in response to differences in use between various industries.
- Addition of the following categories with examples: “popular graphics”, “purely informational graphics”, and “commercial design graphics.”
- Addition of criteria for country names, geographical images, and geographical names used in descriptions of product origin, as well as misleading use or misrepresentation thereof for product origin.
- Addition of criteria for determining the name and portraits of well-known public figures who are recently deceased; provided criteria to assess whether it constitutes use of “portraits” of other persons; provided examples for reference.
- Addition of determining criteria for religious images and terms; added examination principles for marks related to traditional and cultural activities.
- Revision of criteria for slogans, common words, new terms, and technical terms, and adjusted the examination guidelines for “idioms.”
- Trademark graphics which include “the full name of the company” or “domain names” are considered strictly informational to prevent affecting the certainty of the scope of trademark rights and the function of correctly indicating the source of the product or service in the event that trademark rights are transferred or there is a change of name after registration.