Monday 20 April 2009

Darren Olivier

CIPRO Guidelines on Non-Traditional Trade Marks

Thanks to report published by Dana Kretschmer (Spoor and Fisher) Afro Leo has had reason to open February's number 1 best seller : The Patent Journal. In it, contained on pages 460-461, is an Official Notice entitled CIPRO Office Guidelines with regard to the lodging of Non-Traditional Trade Marks (or better, "non conventional trade marks" to avoid confusion with the traditional knowledge discussions).

CIPRO has been bold enough to provide guidelines on filing Three-Dimensional Marks, Colour Marks, Holograms, Motion/Multimedia Marks, Position Marks, Gesture Marks, Olfactory (Smell/Scent) Marks, Taste Marks and Texture Marks. The Guidelines and a number of comments (in italics) can be found at this link.

From a brand owner's point of view these guidelines serve as a reminder of the vast array of distinctive features that are registrable as trade marks (at least in theory). For the practitioner, these will be useful guidelines for preparing applications to register marks (although clarification from CIPRO is required on some of the guidelines as indicated by the comments) as well as providing ideas for challenging marks which already exist but may not be sufficiently described. These Guidelines are not part of the law but an aide to interpreting it.

Afro Leo asks if practitioners were invited to discuss the guidelines (as The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property did in 2005 when changing their guidelines) and whether the Patent Journal is the best place for publishing such information? A news feed from the CIPRO website alerting practitioners may prove more effective than the patent journal. Afro Leo could not locate the news on the CIPRO website under the Latest News Sections.

Darren Olivier

Darren Olivier

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21 April 2009 at 16:24 delete

That picture better not be CIPRO "guiding" the lawyers!