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Monday, 11 August 2003


It really is a good time to apply for non-distinctive or descriptive marks in the UK. At present we all enjoy the benefit of the ECJ's BABY-DRY ruling, which enables us to register many trade marks of breathtaking descriptiveness that we never thought we see registered a couple of years ago. And now, for those who don't like having to wait around, the UK Registry is accelerating the procedure for rejecting applications for those marks which don't even reach the minimal level of distinctiveness to qualify under BABY-DRY. The Registry is doing this by cutting from six months to three months the time for applicants to respond to official objections based on absolute grounds of invalidity. Says the Registry: "Such applications have the greatest capacity to create uncertainty in the market place about whether (and how) descriptive and non-distinctive signs may freely be used in trade. The changes therefore pursue an aim which is in the public interest".

The IPKat says: "The time given by OHIM for applicants to respond to objections based on absolute grounds is only two months. It seems strange that a national granting authority should be so much more generous with its applicants".

Time given by OHIM for applicants to respond to "absolute grounds" objections: two months.

Click here, here or here to see how you can pass three months if you're not busily responding to official objections.

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