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Last modified: 28 December 2010

Law No. XI of 1997 on the Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications

Relative Grounds for Refusal

Article 4

(1) A sign may not be granted trademark protection:
(a) with respect to identical goods or services, if the sign with the later date of priority is identical with an earlier trademark;
(b) if because of its identity with or similarity to the earlier trademark and the identity or similarity of the goods or services there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the consumers;
(c) with respect to dissimilar goods or services if the sign with the later date of priority is identical with or similar to an earlier trademark having a reputation in the country where the use without due cause of the later sign would take unfair advantage of or be detrimental to the distinctive character or the repute of the earlier trademark.
(2) 'Earlier trademark' means a trademark whose registration was applied for with an earlier date of priority or - for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a) and (b) - a sign which has become well-known at an earlier date in the country under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property even if that sign is not registered.
(3) A sign may not be refused trademark protection if it conflicts with an earlier trademark which has not been used by the proprietor in accordance with the provisions of Article 18.
(4) For the purposes of this Act, the likelihood of confusion includes the likelihood of association with the earlier trademark.


Article 5

(1) A sign may not be granted trademark protection:
(a) if it would infringe earlier personal rights of others, in particular a right in a name or of personal portrayal;
(b) if it would conflict with an earlier copyright or industrial property right of others, including conflict with the name of a protected plant variety.
(2) A sign shall not be granted trademark protection
(a) if it has been used effectively in the country without registration where the use of the sign without the consent of the prior user would be contrary to law; and
(b) if, with respect to identical or similar goods or services, it is identical with or similar to a trademark whose protection has lapsed by reason of expiration and less than two years have elapsed since the lapse, unless the earlier trademark had not been used in conformity with the provisions of Article 18.
(3) In determining whether a right, use or expiration is deemed as earlier within the meaning of paragraphs (1) and (2), the priority of the application for registration shall be taken into account.

Article 6

A sign shall be excluded from trademark protection if the representative or agent applies for registration in his own name without the proprietor's authorization, unless the representative or agent justifies his action.

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