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Trade Marks Act 1994

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[F121BPermitted communicationsE+W+S+N.I.

(1)For the purposes of section 21A(6), a communication containing a threat of infringement proceedings is a “permitted communication” if—

(a)the communication, so far as it contains information that relates to the threat, is made for a permitted purpose;

(b)all of the information that relates to the threat is information that—

(i)is necessary for that purpose (see subsection (5)(a) to (c) for some examples of necessary information), and

(ii)the person making the communication reasonably believes is true.

(2)Each of the following is a “permitted purpose”—

(a)giving notice that a registered trade mark exists;

(b)discovering whether, or by whom, a registered trade mark has been infringed by an act mentioned in section 21A(2)(a), (b) or (c);

(c)giving notice that a person has a right in or under a registered trade mark, where another person's awareness of the right is relevant to any proceedings that may be brought in respect of the registered trade mark.

(3)The court may, having regard to the nature of the purposes listed in subsection (2)(a) to (c), treat any other purpose as a “permitted purpose” if it considers that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

(4)But the following may not be treated as a “permitted purpose”—

(a)requesting a person to cease using, in the course of trade, a sign in relation to goods or services,

(b)requesting a person to deliver up or destroy goods, or

(c)requesting a person to give an undertaking relating to the use of a sign in relation to goods or services.

(5)If any of the following information is included in a communication made for a permitted purpose, it is information that is “necessary for that purpose” (see subsection (1)(b)(i))—

(a)a statement that a registered trade mark exists and is in force or that an application for the registration of a trade mark has been made;

(b)details of the registered trade mark, or of a right in or under the registered trade mark, which—

(i)are accurate in all material respects, and

(ii)are not misleading in any material respect; and

(c)information enabling the identification of the goods or their packaging, or the services, in relation to which it is alleged that the use of a sign constitutes an infringement of the registered trade mark.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Ss. 21-21F and cross-heading substituted for s. 21 (1.10.2017) by Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017 (c. 14), ss. 2(2), 8; S.I. 2017/771, reg. 2(1)(b) (with reg. 3)

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