The Institute Clears Its Position on Bad Faith Trademark Applications

Bad faith applications constitute a large part of the applications in the Official Trademark Bulletin published by the Institute every month and delivered to subscribers. The grounds for refusal of an application are stipulated in Articles 7 and 8 of the Decree Law no: 556 on Protection of Trademarks. Within such articles, no specific reference is made to bad faith applications. Direct reference to bad faith applications is made in Article 35 of the same Decree Law, which reads:

“Notices of opposition to the registration of trademark on the grounds that it may not be registered under the provisions of Articles 7 and 8 and notices of opposition on the ground that there exists bad faith in the application shall be submitted within three months of the publication of the application.”

Since there is no explicit reference in the Decree Law, the Institute has been reluctant to refuse oppositions based solely on the applicant’s bad faith. However, the Institute has recently changed its approach and delivered several decisions refusing applications upon opposition based on the bad faith of the applicant. One of the Institute’s decisions states:

“It was concluded after the examination that the application contains wording and a device that are the same as the trademark which is the basis of the opposition, and thus the bad faith claim is true and legitimate. For that reason, it was decided that the opposition be accepted and the application be refused in accordance with Article 35 of the Decree Law.”

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