TMO internal decision regarding the examination of Trademarks in Classes 35, 37 and 39

According to Article 63 of Law No. 82 of 2002 pertaining to the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, “a trademark is any sign distinguishing goods, whether products or services.”

Thus a trademark may often be registered as a product and it may also need to be registered as a service on the same product. Most of the services listed below are public services that are not associated with a particular product or commodity, including, but not limited to:

– Import, export, retail and wholesale service, Class 35;
– Packaging and packing, Class 39;
– Maintenance services, Class 37;

It has become apparent to the examination board at the Trademark Office that there are some parties who use, in bad faith, trademarks that may not be well known at the present time and proceed to register their own trademark on these common or general use services in the above-mentioned classes. Whereas, the actual proprietor of the trademark may only have a trademark registered covering the goods but not the related services. These bad faith registrations covering services consequently mislead and confuse the general public, whereby the party with bad faith places the mark on its product on the basis that it performs any of the services included in these classes such as import, export, maintenance or packaging and packing.

The Trademark Department in Egypt has issued an internal decision to the examiners, namely that those who apply for a trademark registration on such services mentioned above must identify and mention the type of product on which they provide their services so that the trademark is examined on the mentioned products or classes. This is to avoid confusion and misleading among the public, avoid the bad faith of the trademark applicant, and reserve the rights of the mark of the original producer of the goods or service.

We believe this internal decision of the Trademark Department is very important and beneficial to trademark proprietors, as it protects rights and limits fraud and confusion among the public. The newest edition of the IP Law is expected to be changed to reflect this internal decision.

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