REGISTRY REQUESTS UNPRECEDENTED AMOUNT OF DISCLAIMERS FOR TRADE MARK APPLICATIONS

Apr 1, 2013

The Registry has begun to issue a considerable number of disclaimer requests in relation to trade mark applications for registration as well as registrations applied for renewal. The Registrar’s discretionary power is being applied in such an extensive way that the common law tort of passing off may prove to be a more authoritative and effective legal remedy than trade mark registration. This much is apparent for trade mark registrations that disclaim the entire mark or elements of the mark that are neither descriptive nor generic and are not devoid of distinctiveness. The choice of certain wording in the Trade Marks Bill of 2013 concerning when disclaimers may apply is unlikely to clarify the situation.