We have been advised that the Trade Marks Act 1999 will come into effect on September 3, 2001. The Act repeals and replaces the Trade Marks Act, 1958 and provides for the following :-

·         registration of service marks

·         registration of certification and collective marks

·         filing of multiclass applications

·         registration of "signs", including three-dimensional shapes, sounds, smells, colour, packaging

·         protection of well-known marks originating in Paris Convention member countries

·         claiming of the right of priority of registrations originating in Paris Convention member countries

·         licensing and sub-licensing of marks

·         simplification of the assignment process

·         registration of transactions affecting registered marks, including security interests

·         protection of registered marks for 10 years and renewals for further periods of 10 years

·         extension of opposition period from 1 month to 2 months but extensions of time will not be available

·         elimination of defensive marks

·         elimination of the association requirement

·         retroactive consolidation of the register (i.e. fusing of Parts A and B)

·         expansion of infringement rights. A registration is infringed by use of same or similar marks on the same or similar goods or services

·         criminalisation of counterfeiting

·         apprehension and forfeiture of infringing goods imported into the country.

Further details on this piece of legislation will be posted on our web-site as and when they are available.