Presentation on theme: "Trade Mark Examination Simon Pope- Principal Trade Mark Examiner."— Presentation transcript:
Trade Mark Examination Simon Pope- Principal Trade Mark Examiner
Overview 1.Examination: - Subsumed marks - Slogans - Series mark 2.Division 3.Addition 4. Evidence of use 5. Hearings 6. Trade Mark Bill 7. Comparative examination project
Manager Simon Gallagher Principal Ingrid Bayliss Principal Jeanette Palliser Senior Examiner Steffen Gazley Examiner Tonja Flath Examiner Frances Yamada Senior Examiner Claire France Examiner William Rodrigues Examiner Penny Zohrab Examiner Peter Bartlett Examiner Kalone Senior Examiner Amelia Stewart Examiner Kath Jones Examiner Paul Temple Examiner Tanya Carter Examiner Joanna Lee Senior Examiner Dave Da Vanzo Examiner Lou Parker Examiner Eleanor Harkness Examiner Rebecca James Principal Simon Pope Examiner Shannon Brown Examiner Jo Roberts
1.Incoming correspondence (levels 1- 4) 2.Abeyance 3.Add class 4.Amendment 5.Certification marks 6.Amendments 7.Divisionals 8.Evidence of use 9.Extensions of time 10.Formal objections 11.Principals Queue 12.Reinstatements 13.Acceptance Queue 14.Projects Correspondence Queues
Quality Control Examiner Senior Examiner Principal Examiners Notice of Acceptance Newly Independent Examiner Compliance report Decision Acceptance checking
Turnaround times 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
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
PUREBABY v BABY T19/2008 ULTRA v ULTRA LAMP T10/2007 ARCHTREO v TREO T26/2007 BALANCE v BODY BALANCE 28/2007 Decisions before the Commissioner
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.”
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 the general effect of the respective wholes.”
Idea of the mark 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.”
General Principles 1.Marks are compared as a whole (Clarke v Sharp) 2.Imperfect recollection (De Cordova v Vick Chemical Co) 3.The idea of the mark (CPC (UK) Ltd v Keenan) 4.The look and sound of the mark (Pianotist) 5.Trade channels
Stichting Lodestar v Austin, Nichols & Co Inc  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.” Section 25 – deception/confusion
Does it ‘hang together’? BULOVA ACCUTRON  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)
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.
Evidence content 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
Section 18 Fredco (Affirmed Windsurfing Chiemsee in 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.
Key evidence 1.Date of first use in New Zealand 2.Geographical extent 3.Sales/turnover figures 4.Advertising or promotional expenditure 5.Support for goods/services
Underpinning considerations 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.
Tips 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
Section 18 - ‘Other Circumstances’ 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 These points above will be given due weight. They are not conclusive grounds for registration.
Section 26 – Honest Concurrent Use & Special Circumstances 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.
Honest Concurrent Use 1.Statement of non-confusion 2.Statement that the applicant adopted its mark honestly 3.Reasons why confusion is unlikely 4.Reasons going to relative inconvenience to the parties 5.Normal section 18 evidence Evidence should include:
Evidence must be prior to the filing date 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)
Section 26 - Other Special Circumstances 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
Slogans 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.
Examples: 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)
Extensions Section 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.
Extensions of time Requests must be received before the examination deadline Detail the genuine and exceptional reasons XNo fee XSubmissions within the deadline - no need for an extension Cited expired but restorable marks - request an extension Xnot abeyance (subject to proceedings sec 44) XChaser letters could delay action
Dividing an application 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.
Adding a class 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 the fee prescribed 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.
Series Marks 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.
Leading case law Lynson Australia Pty Ltd’s Application  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  28 IPR 167 at 169 “not all trade marks which might be deceptively similar … will constitute a series”.
Different typescript KABOOZLE BLOKART DEL P HA
Different spelling or conjoining CENTRE-FUGUECENTER-FUGUE MIXCHANGERMYXCHANGER ONELEMENTONELAMENT PAPERCHECKPAPERCHEQUE CATSCAN GRAZEGRAZES YANKEE DOODLE CANDYYANKEE DOODLE CANDIES SONIKSONIX PASSAPAZZA
Different punctuation / letter case MNOPM.N.O.PM N O P MICEM.I.C.E HEARTACHEHeartACHE BROZILIANBRO-ZILIANBRO'ZILAN
Different linking elements on HEART BEAT FAX AND RELAXFAX & RELAX SAVE FOR COUPONSSAVE 4 COUPONS Different or additional device material
NUMBER / PRICE FLORINA 50 Facial Tissues FLORINA 100 Facial Tissues FLORINA 200 Facial Tissues FLORINA6 FLORINAFLORINA 6 Pack FLORINA AU $4.95 FLORINA AU $3.95 FLORINA AU $2.95 PLATFORM 4PLATFORM 8
PLACE / QUALITY HARDROCK CAFE MELBOURNE HARDROCK CAFE SYDNEY HARDROCK CAFE BRISBANE FLORINA High grade flour FLORINA Standard flour FLORINA Self raising flour
Cartoon marks Application by Johnson and Johnson  28 IPR 167 at 169
Maori trade marks 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 Advisory Committee Ms Karen Te O Kahurangi Waaka (Chair) Mr Mauriora Kingi Ms Tui Te Hau Associate Professor Pare Keiha Dr Deidre Brown
Maori Trade Marks 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”.
The Hearings Office 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
Oppositions 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 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 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).
Revocation for non-use 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.
Invalidity X-1R (stylised and device)T32/2007 The applicant’s evidence must establish a prima facie case to overcome the ‘presumption of registrability’ of the subject mark even if the invalidity action is undefended.
Tips Critical deadlines - Notice of Opposition, Counterstatement Make sure you file extension request before deadline. We track all correspondence by the IP number Make sure you use IP number in all subject lines and letter headings. Use the Hearings Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org@iponz.govt.nz Do not use the normal IPONZ email address for proceedings Online correspondence Attach all correspondence as ‘Hearings Office Correspondence’.
Hearings Office- General matters Decisions of the Commissioner - new search engine Opposition list on the website Revocation guidelines are being prepared Formal rejection
Trade Marks (International Treaties and Enforcement) Amendment Bill 2008 Accession to: The Madrid Protocol - similar provisions to AU and SG Nice Agreement - 3 rd schedule marks compulsory reclassification Singapore Treaty.
Main Changes Improved border protection measures – Customs NZ The National Enforcement Unit (NEU) will have investigative and enforcement powers Removes provisions for recording licences Authorised user may bring infringement proceedings (determined by license agreement) Parallel import provision strengthened.
Comparative examination project Stage one A comparison of 200 trade mark applications which were examined in 2005 by both offices to determine similarities and differences in outcomes, and a review of each offices procedural manuals. Stage two Investigated the potential for harmonisation of trade mark examination outcomes through the concurrent examination of about 300 trade mark applications. Next Stage Both offices are considering future directions for the project including, the possibility of each office recognising prior decisions previously made in the other office (where practical).
IPONZ – Future direction Paperless office – evidence online AU / NZ comparative examination project IPONZ Practice Guidelines review Courts are now referring to the Practice Guidelines - Purple decision Animation marks Proposed practice guidelines Quality control.