Refusals on absolute grounds
There are a number of legal grounds on the basis of which the BOIP is obliged to refuse registration of an application.
- The Office shall refuse to register a trademark if it considers that:
(a) the sign may not constitute a trademark as defined in Article 2.1(1) and (2);
(b) the trademark is devoid of any distinctive character;
(c) the trademark comprises only signs or indications which may be used in trade to indicate the kind, quality, quantity,
intended purpose, value, geographical origin or time of manufacture of the product or provision of the service, or other
(d) the trademark comprises only signs or indications which have become customary in everyday language or in the bona fide
and established practices of the trade;
(e) the trademark is a trademark referred to under Article 2.4(a), (b) or (g).
- Refusal to register shall relate to the sign constituting the trademark in its entirety. It may be restricted to one or more of the goods or services for which the trademark is intended.
- The Office shall inform the applicant in writing without delay of its intention to refuse registration in whole or in part, shall state the grounds and shall provide the applicant with the opportunity to respond within a period laid down by the Implementing Regulations.
- If the Office’s objections against registration have not been lifted within the period laid down, registration of the trademark shall be refused in whole or in part. The Office shall inform the applicant in writing without delay, indicating the grounds for refusal, and advising of the remedy against that decision, referred to in Article 2.12.
- Refusal shall only become final when the decision is no longer subject to appeal or, if appropriate, the decision of the appeal authority is no longer subject to referral to a high court of appeal.