-- JonathanMo - 14 Sep 2015

Marks which cannot be registered or are difficult to register

The TMA provides a number of grounds on which registration of a mark may be refused [TMA Pt 4, Div 2, ss.39-44] or challenged [TMA Pt 4, Div 2, ss.57-62]. These grounds include:
  • the mark cannot be represented graphically
  • the mark is incapable of distinguishing the applicant's goods or services
  • the mark is likely to deceive or cause confusion
  • the mark is prescribed by the TMA regulations
  • the mark is scandalous or contrary to law
  • the mark is substantially identical or deceptively similar to another trade mark already registered in relation to the same or related goods and services.
Grounds for opposition to an application to register a mark also include:
  • the applicant is not the owner of the mark
  • the applicant does not intend to use the mark as a trade mark (ie, in the course of business)
  • the mark is similar to a trade mark that has already acquired a reputation in Australia
  • the mark contains a false geographical indication.

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