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Court Accepts Registration of Trademark by Representative

Registration of trademarks by representatives is of paramount importance as it may be problematic at the end of the relationship. Predicting such problems beforehand, the Decree Law on Protection of Trademarks in Article 8/2 disallows representatives from registering the trademarks of which they are representatives, agents, or distributors. This article reads as follows:

"Upon opposition by the proprietor of a trademark, a trademark shall not be registered where an agent or representative of the proprietor of the trademark has applied for registration thereof in his or her own name without the proprietor's consent and without a valid justification."

This article applies when the trademark is pending for application. In case of registration, the same article is applied with reference to Article 42 of the same Decree Law.

However, in a recent case, a local intellectual and industrial property court ruled that the trademark was owned by the representative so long as the agreement that governs the relationship between the true trademark owner and the registrant (representative, agent or distributor) is valid and in force. The decision was taken to the Court of Appeal, and no decision has been issued thus far.

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