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Trade Marks Act 1994

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5 Relative grounds for refusal of registration.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A trade mark shall not be registered if it is identical with an earlier trade mark and the goods or services for which the trade mark is applied for are identical with the goods or services for which the earlier trade mark is protected.

(2)A trade mark shall not be registered if because—

(a)it is identical with an earlier trade mark and is to be registered for goods or services similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is protected, or

(b)it is similar to an earlier trade mark and is to be registered for goods or services identical with or similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is protected,

there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public, which includes the likelihood of association with the earlier trade mark.

(3)A trade mark which—

(a)is identical with or similar to an earlier trade mark, and

F1(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

shall not be registered if, or to the extent that, the earlier trade mark has a reputation in the United Kingdom (or, in the case of a [F2European Union] trade mark [F3or international trade mark (EC)], in [F4the European Union]) and the use of the later mark without due cause would take unfair advantage of, or be detrimental to, the distinctive character or the repute of the earlier trade mark.

(4)A trade mark shall not be registered if, or to the extent that, its use in the United Kingdom is liable to be prevented—

(a)by virtue of any rule of law (in particular, the law of passing off) protecting an unregistered trade mark or other sign used in the course of trade, or

(b)by virtue of an earlier right other than those referred to in subsections (1) to (3) or paragraph (a) above, in particular by virtue of the law of copyright, design right or registered designs.

A person thus entitled to prevent the use of a trade mark is referred to in this Act as the proprietor of an “earlier right” in relation to the trade mark.

(5)Nothing in this section prevents the registration of a trade mark where the proprietor of the earlier trade mark or other earlier right consents to the registration.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 5(3)(b) and preceding word omitted (5.5.2004) by virtue of Trade Marks (Proof of Use, etc.) Regulations 2004 (S.I. 2004/946), regs. 1, 7(1)

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