Trademark Act Article 29Nov. 30, 2016

Grounds for refusal of registration: devoid of distinctiveness; disclaimer

A trademark shall not be registered if it is devoid of distinctiveness in any of the following:

(1) consisting exclusively of a description of the quality, intended purpose, material, place of origin, or relevant characteristics of the designated goods or services;
(2) consisting exclusively of the generic mark or term for the designated goods or services; or
(3) consisting exclusively of other signs which are devoid of any distinctiveness.

Subparagraph 1 or 3 of the preceding paragraph shall not apply if the trademark has been used by the applicant and has become, in trade, a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the applicant.

Where the reproduction of a trademark contains an element which is not distinctive, and where the inclusion of that element in the trademark could give rise to doubts as to the scope of the trademark rights, the applicant shall state that he/she disclaims any exclusive right to such element. Such trademark without disclaimer shall not be registered.

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