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Wednesday, 16 November 2005


Following the ECJ’s Praktiker Bau decision, the UK Trade Marks Registry has issued a Practice Amendment Notice, setting out acceptable ways of designating retail services in applications for trade marks.

There will no longer be a need to specify the type of retail services which are being provided (e.g. wholesale, supermarket). However, it will be necessary to specify the types of goods in all cases (e.g. stationery, clothing). While it is sufficient to just describe the type of goods (e.g. footwear), specifying the goods in more detail (e.g. shoes and boots for females) remains an option.

Where these conditions are not met, an objection under section 1(1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and/or Rule 8(2)(b) of the Trade Mark Rules may be raised.

The notice also points out that marks consisting of the geographical name of the place in which the retail services take place will normally be rejected under the absolute grounds.

Chapters 5 and 6 of the Registry Work Manual have been altered to reflect this change in practice.

The IPKat reckons that, following Praktiker, there are no big surprises here. However, he wonders what happens when a store decides to begin stocking a new line of goods. Will it have to amend its trade mark specification each time it makes a minor diversification?

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