For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Sunday, 14 November 2004

IS THERE ANYBODY THERE?

The IPKat brings to your attention a decision of the UK Trade Marks Registry based on some rather odd facts. The mark SCIP-r-NOSCO was placed on the trade mark register with the proprietor named as SCIP-r-NOSCO. The opponent applied for the mark to be declared invalid on bad faith grounds since, at the time that the trade mark was applied for, there was no legal entity called SCIP-r-NOSCO. The registered proprietor stated that Scip-r-Nosco had been erroneously registered as the proprietor and in fact the mark should have been registered in the name of the North of Scotland Voluntary Organisations Training Forum, a registered organisation. The registered proprietor was in the process of rectifying its registration, which would entail no change of ownership since the two were the same organisation.

Despite the fact that there was no suggestion that the fault in the registration was anything but a genuine mistake, the registration was cancelled on bad faith grounds. Since the name entered on the form TM3 as the applicant was not a legal entity, the applicant identified on the form could not have had the necessary bona fide intention to use the mark at the time that the application for registration was filed. Bad faith covers the situation where at the time of the application the applicant does not have a bona fide intention to use a trade mark in relation to the goods or services for which registration is sought. This is so even when the lack of intention to use arises from a mistake and is not intended to mislead anyone, as was the case here. Thus, when an applicant does not legally exist, it must equate with a finding that the application was made in bad faith.

The IPKat agrees with the result of this decision. If you don’t exist, you can’t use a trade mark. In any event, applicants should check that their forms hare correctly completed before they file them. However, it sounds a bit artificial to call this type of behaviour bad faith.

More people that don’t exist here, here and here

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