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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Jul 17, 2012 (Newsletter Issue 11/12)
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New Trademark Act Effective

Taiwan’s newly amended Trademark Act entered into force on July 1st 2012, a year after the promulgation date.

The new Trademark Act, among other things, enlarges the scope of protectable subject matter to allow all forms of sensory signs that are distinctive enough to identify goods or services from others to be registered as a trademark. Some forms of non-traditional symbols are exemplified in the trademark law, such as colours, three-dimensional shapes, motions, holograms and sound, but such examples are not exhaustive.

Under the recently published Examination Guidelines for Non-traditional Trademarks, a position mark that highlights a certain drawing, colour or three-dimensional symbol on a particular position of a product or location of a service provider may also be registered. Designs or decorations of a business location and product packaging are categorized as the same type of a three-dimensional shape, and will be examined under the same distinctiveness standard for trademarks. In addition, scent, taste and texture that bring a certain sensation to consumers are also taken into consideration under the Examination Guidelines.

Source: Tsai Lee & Chen, Taiwan