TIPO announced the new examination guidelines on the distinctiveness of trademarks and has conducted on 1st September 2022. TIPO has provided examples for different types of trademarks and ensured that the basis on which distinction is determined for trademarks aligns with current market transactions. The main revisions are as follows:
1. Adjusted the different types of compositions of foreign alphabets and provided reference examples for determining whether the words are described and distinctive.
2. The distinctiveness judgment for “words” and “numbers” composition trademarks: In response to the differences in use in various industries, TIPO added assessment criteria and examples to explain.
3. Added the following categories with examples: “popular graphics”, “purely informative graphics”, and “commercial design graphics.”
4. Added the 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.
5. Added assessment criteria and reference examples for the names and portraits of well-known people who are recently deceased. And provide the reference examples to further exemplify what constitutes a “portrait”.
6. Added determining criteria for religious images and terms; added examination principles for marks related to traditional and cultural activities.
7. Adjustment the examination guidelines for “idioms” and revised criteria for slogans, common words, new terms, and technical terms.
8. The trademark graphics which include “the full name of the company” or “domain names”, are considered strictly informational in order to prevent affecting 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 changed after registration.