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Trade Mark Examination

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  1. Trade Mark Examination Simon Pope- Principal Trade Mark Examiner

  2. Overview • Evidence of use • Hearings • Trade Mark Bill • Comparative examination project • Examination: - Subsumed marks - Slogans- Series mark • Division • Addition

  3. Correspondence Queues • Incoming correspondence (levels 1- 4) • Abeyance • Add class • Amendment • Certification marks • Amendments • Divisionals • Evidence of use • Extensions of time • Formal objections • Principals Queue • Reinstatements • Acceptance Queue • Projects

  4. Quality Control Examiner Compliancereport Notice of Acceptance Acceptance checking Decision Senior Examiner Principal Examiners Newly Independent Examiner

  5. First Compliance report 5 days Subsequent reports: - Easy 25 days(Sections 5, 21-24, 31, 32) - Hard 2 months (Sections 17, 18 and 25) - Evidence of use 12 months Turnaround times

  6. Subsumed marks Case Law Reemark Gmbh v OHIM – Bluenet Ltd T-22/04 Medion AG v Thompson Multimedia Sales Austria & Germany Gmbh Case C-120/04

  7. Decisions before the Commissioner • PUREBABY v BABY T19/2008 • ULTRA v ULTRA LAMP T10/2007 • ARCHTREO v TREO T26/2007 • BALANCE v BODY BALANCE 28/2007

  8. The Test Re Pianotist Co’s Application (1906) 23 RPC 774 at 777: “You must take the two words. You must judge of them, both by their look and by their sound. You must consider the nature and kind of customer who would be likely to buy those goods. In fact, you must consider all the surrounding circumstances; and you must further consider what is likely to happen if each of those trade marks is used in a normal way as a trade mark for the goods of the respective owners of the marks.”

  9. Marks must be compared as a whole • Clarke v Sharp (1898)15 RPC 141 at 146 • “One must bear in mind the points of resemblance and the points of dissimilarity, attaching fair weight and importance to all, but remembering that the ultimate solution is to be arrived at, not by adding up and comparing the results of such matters, but by judging thegeneral effect of the respective wholes.”

  10. CPC (UK) Ltd v Keenan (1986) FSR 527 “It is relevant to have regard to what is known as the idea of the mark, that is to say the idea which is given by the mark to a person who sees it, and if the mark gives rise to a particular association, that association may be important in relation to the question of deception or confusion.” Idea of the mark

  11. Marks are compared as a whole (Clarke v Sharp) Imperfect recollection (De Cordova v Vick Chemical Co) The idea of the mark (CPC (UK) Ltd v Keenan) The look and sound of the mark (Pianotist) Trade channels General Principles

  12. Section 25 – deception/confusion Stichting Lodestar v Austin, Nichols & Co Inc[2008] 2 NZLR 141 (SCNZ).(WILD GEESE and WILD TURKEY) “It is not so much the differences that matter, although of course they are relevant, but rather the similarities, whatever their form may be, that might lead to deception or confusion.Deception or confusion may arise in marks that appear to be related so that it could be thought that they denoted related products from the same source.”

  13. BULOVA ACCUTRON [1969] RPC 102. Illustrative examples: NEXT GENERATION RANGEFINDER v NEXT (electric goods) PIRATES OF THE CARABEAN v PIRATES (clothing) DAZZLE PLUS v DAZZLE (cleaners) FRUIT EXPLOSION v EXPLOSION (food products) EASY BUST v BUST (insect sprays) SPEEDOX SUPERNOVA v SUPERNOVA (shoes) Does it ‘hang together’?

  14. Evidence of use • Section 18 Non-distinctive trade mark not registrable • (2) The Commissioner must not refuse to register a trade mark under subsection (1)(b), (c), or (d) if, before the date of application for registration, as a result of either the use made of it or of any other circumstances, the trade mark has acquired a distinctive character. • Section 26 Exceptions • The Commissioner must register trade mark A if—(b) the Commissioner or the Court, as the case may be, considers that a case of honest concurrent use exists, or other special circumstances exist, that, in the opinion of the Court or the Commissioner, makes it proper for the trade mark to be registered subject to any conditions that the Court or the Commissioner may impose.

  15. Must be a Statutory Declaration or Affidavit Exhibits Annexure list in accordance with the practice guidelines Do not put the evidence as part of your submissions Evidence content

  16. Fredco (Affirmed Windsurfing Chiemseein NZ). The market share held by the mark; How intensive, geographically widespread and long-standing the use of the mark has been; The amount invested by the applicant in promoting the mark; The proportion of the relevant class of persons who, because of the mark, identify goods or services as originating from a particular undertaking; Statements from chambers of commerce and industry or other trade and professional associations. Section 18

  17. Date of first use in New Zealand Geographical extent Sales/turnover figures Advertising or promotional expenditure 5. Support for goods/services Key evidence

  18. Does evidence show use of the mark as filed? Is the mark viewed as a trade mark? Exhibits supporting use as filed (dilution). Sales and advertising figures for mark as filed. Please indicate usage in exhibits. Underpinning considerations

  19. Spill over reputation is rarely sufficient Do not simply file your corresponding AU evidence Make sure evidence is in the appropriate form Only provide evidence prior to the filing date Keep the evidence specific Tips

  20. The following may be considered: use of the mark as a company name use of the mark in a composite mark use of the mark in respect of other goods and services Section 18 - ‘Other Circumstances’ These points above will be given due weight. They are not conclusive grounds for registration.

  21. Alex Pirie and Son’s Application The extent of use in duration, area and volume; The degree of confusion likely between the trade marks in question; Whether any instances of confusion have in fact occurred; The honesty or otherwise of the concurrent use; The relative inconvenience that would be caused to the respective parties if the applicant’s trade mark were registered. These factors are used to measure the public inconvenience. Section 26 – Honest Concurrent Use & Special Circumstances

  22. Statement of non-confusion Statement that the applicant adopted its mark honestly Reasons why confusion is unlikely Reasons going to relative inconvenience to the parties Normal section 18 evidence Honest Concurrent Use Evidence should include:

  23. VB Distributors Ltd v Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd (1999) 9 TCLR 349 (HC) - (PALSONIC v PANASONIC) “Mr Upton said that, whilst it is undoubtedly correct that the rights of the competing parties are generally determined as at the date of the application…that does not prevent the Court from looking at conduct and events after that date in dealing with the issues before it”. New Zealand cases: Telecom IP Ltd v Beta Telecom Ltd 27/9/06 CIV-2004-485-2789 Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (T20/2002) Evidence must be prior to the filing date

  24. Covers circumstances prior to the filing date such as: mark used and/or registered by the applicant in other markets use of the same mark for different goods and/or services other relevant circumstances peculiar to the applicant prior use by the applicant the “sandwich mark” scenario. “Things that minimise the risk of confusion or show hardship to the applicant”- Shanahan’s law of trade marks Section 26 - Other Special Circumstances

  25. Criteria is no stricter than for standard marks The NZ/AU comparative examination project revealed that IPONZ takes a more restrictive approach. However, the two practices are coming closer. DISCOVER A NEW DRIVING EXPERIENCE T10/2004 Registered in AU for tyres but refused in NZ. Slogans

  26. ADVANCING VACCINE RESEARCH (class 5- refused) LEADING NEW ZEALAND ONLINE (classes 9 and 38- refused) FROM THOUGHT TO FINISH (classes 9, 16, 35, 36, 41 and 42 accepted) Examples:

  27. Section 32  - Commissioner may extend time (1) The Commissioner may, if satisfied in a particular case that there are genuineandexceptionalcircumstances that justify an extension of time, extend the time specified by these regulations for a step to be taken, except where these regulations stipulate that time must not be extended. Extensions

  28. Requests must be received before the examination deadline Detail the genuineand exceptional reasons X No fee X Submissions within the deadline - no need for an extension Cited expired but restorable marks - request an extension X not abeyance (subject to proceedings sec 44) X Chaser letters could delay action Extensions of time

  29. We divide out the compliant aspect of the application - “problem stays with the parent”. Deadline for the child application is the same as the parent. You cannot divide a mark out from an unacceptable series application. Dividing an application

  30. Regulation 43 - Additional classes may be added after filing (2) The Commissioner may allow the addition of a class if— (a) the application for addition is made within 1 month after the application for registration is filed; and (b) the application is accompanied by thefeeprescribed for an application to register in 1 class; and (c) the goods or services to which the additional class or classes relate are within the original specification. Concerns will be considered when Regulations are revised. Adding a class

  31. Section 5: (a) resemble each other in their material particulars; and (b) differ only in respect of— (i) statements of the goods or services for which they are, or are proposed to be, used; or (ii) statements of number, price, quality, or names of places; or (iii) other matters of a non-distinctive character that do not substantially affect the identity of the trade mark; or (iv) colour. Series Marks

  32. Lynson Australia Pty Ltd’s Application [1987] 9 IPR 350 “Briefly, and only in general terms, the variation between members of a series must be such that no additional element or dimension is contributed thereby to the overall identity of the marks; the “idea” of the mark must remain the same”. Johnson and Johnson [1993] 28 IPR 167 at 169 “not all trade marks which might be deceptively similar … will constitute a series”. Leading case law

  33. Different typescript DELPHA

  34. Different spelling or conjoining

  35. Different punctuation/ letter case

  36. Different linking elements Different or additional device material on HEART BEAT

  37. NUMBER / PRICE

  38. PLACE / QUALITY

  39. NON-DISTINCTIVE MATTER

  40. Cartoon marks Application by Johnson and Johnson [1993] 28 IPR 167 at 169

  41. Section 17 - Absolute grounds for not registering trade mark: (1) The Commissioner must not register as a trade mark or part of a trade mark any matter— (c) the use or registration of which would, in the opinion of the Commissioner, be likely to offend a significant section of the community, including Maori. Section 177 - Advisory committee (1) The Commissioner must appoint an advisory committee. Maori trade marks

  42. Ms Karen Te O Kahurangi Waaka (Chair) Mr Mauriora Kingi Ms Tui Te Hau Associate Professor Pare Keiha Dr Deidre Brown Maori Advisory Committee

  43. Quarterly meetings Maori marks are sent to the committee unless they are covered by existing policy – e.g. KIWI marks “Offence not mild distaste” Meaning of word in another language does not avoid offence Principles of “Tapu”, “Mana” and “Noa”. Maori Trade Marks

  44. KOHA (for wine) HAKA (for wine) AORAKI (Cigarettes) KAIMATE (fertilisers) Examples

  45. 3 staff + 4 Hearings Officers Jenny Walden and Brian Jones Turnaround times: Notices of Opposition, Revocation, Invalidity – 5 days Correspondence -15 days Decisions – 6 weeks The Hearings Office

  46. Regulation 75 - Time for filing notice of opposition (1) A party who opposes an application for registration of a trade mark must file a notice of opposition with the Commissioner within 3 months after the date when acceptance of registration was first advertised. (2) The Commissioner may, if requested, extend the deadline for filing a notice of opposition— (a) by up to 1 month, without the applicant's consent; and (b) by up to 2 months, with the applicant's consent. (3) The Commissioner must not extend the deadline after the deadline has expired. Oppositions

  47. Section 48 - Applicant's counter-statement (1) An applicant to whom a notice of opposition has been sent must, within the prescribed time, send to the Commissioner a counter-statement of the grounds on which the applicant relies for his or her application. (2) If an applicant does not send a counter-statement to the Commissioner within the prescribed time (Regulation 79- 2 months), the applicant is deemed to have abandoned the application. BENEFIVE T08/2008 - refused extension request after deadline to file counterstatement. Oppositions

  48. Regulation 32 Commissioner may extend time (1) The Commissioner may, if satisfied in a particular case that there are genuine and exceptional circumstances that justify an extension of time, extend the time specified by these regulations for a step to be taken, except where these regulations stipulate that time must not be extended. Tip Regulation 28 - the Hearings Office will halt proceedings if there is consent from both sides (up to 6 months). Oppositions

  49. 96 Owner or licensee may oppose revocation by filing counter-statement and evidence of use (1) The owner or licensee of a trade mark that is the subject of an application for revocation for non-use may oppose the application by filing the following documents within 2 months after the owner or licensee received the application: (a) a counter-statement that complies with regulation ; and (b) evidence of— (i) the use of the mark; or (ii) special circumstances of the kind referred to in section of the Act. BENEFIX T14/2008 - allowed extension request under Reg. 32 after deadline to file counterstatement and evidence of use. Revocation for non-use