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Results: 4 Answers
Trademarks
3.
Registration procedure
3.1
Which governing body (ie, trademark office) controls the registration process?
 
Malta
The governing body that controls the registration process is the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate within the Malta Commerce Department.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.2
What fees does the trademark office charge for an application, during prosecution and for issuance of a registration?
 
Malta
The filing fee applicable for the application of a trademark per class is €116.47.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.3
Does the trademark office use the Nice Classification scheme?
 
Malta
The Industrial Property Registrations Directorate adopts the Nice Classification in describing and classifying goods and services.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.4
Are ‘class-wide’ applications allowed, or must the applicant identify the specific goods or services for which the mark will be used?
 
Malta
The Trademarks Act provides that the applicant is obliged to specify the goods and/or services for which the trademark will be used in order to proceed with the registration. Nevertheless, the general indications included in the class headings of the Nice Classification or other general terms may be used, provided that they comply with the requisite standards of clarity and precision requested by the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.5
Must an applicant have a bona fide intention to use the trademark for the goods or services identified in the application in order to apply for registration?
 
Malta
The Trademarks Act provides that a trademark may be declared invalid should the application be made in bad faith.

Thus, while the applicant may lodge an application, the trademark may be revoked should the lack of good faith be proven.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.6
Does the trademark office perform relative examination of trademark applications (ie, searches for earlier conflicting marks)?
 
Malta
As part of the application process for registration of a trademark, the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate will examine the trademark applied for with a critical eye, especially with respect to any prior rights associated with the proposed trademark. From a practical point of view, the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate will evaluate whether the proposed trademark may potentially breach any rights associated with earlier registered trademarks or prior applications for the registration of trademarks, as registered or filed in Malta or with the EU Intellectual Property Office. The results of the search will be notified to the applicant, which may elect to withdraw the application. If the applicant does not withdraw the application, the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate will proceed with publication of the application. An opposition to registration may be subsequently filed by third parties with the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.7
What types of examinations does the trademark office perform other than relative examination?
 
Malta
Further to question 3.6, the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate will examine the trademark application in order to determine whether it satisfies the requirements set out in the Trademarks Act. Nonetheless, it is at the discretion of the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate to request any further documentation it deems fit and necessary.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.8
Apart from confusion with a senior mark, descriptiveness and genericness, are there other grounds under which a mark is ineligible for registration, such as public policy reasons?
 
Malta
Yes, in accordance with the laws of Malta, a trademark may not be registered if it violates public policy or morality, or if it is of a nature which may deceive the public as to the nature, quality or geographical origin of the goods and/or services. Furthermore, a trademark may not be registered if its use is prohibited in Malta through the application of rule of law or if the application was made in bad faith.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.9
Is there a separate or supplemental register on which descriptive marks may be registered?
 
Malta
No, the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate has one register which includes all trademarks registered in Malta.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.10
Can a third party object to registration of a mark before the application has been published (eg, by letter of protest to the trademark office)?
 
Malta
Sending a letter of protest to the applicant and/or the Industrial Property Registration Directorate is not prohibited and is thus possible. However, the prescribed procedure is that where the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate receives an application for registration of a trademark which is deemed potentially identical or similar to a previously registered mark, the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate will inform the applicant in relation thereto, which may elect to withdraw the application. If the applicant does not withdraw the application, the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate will proceed with publication of the application. A notice of opposition may then be filed with the Industrial Property Registrations Directorate within 60 working days of publication of the trademark application, claiming and providing evidence that the trademark applied for should be refused on relative grounds in accordance with the Trademarks Act.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.11
Must the applicant use the trademark commercially in order to obtain a registration?
 
Malta
Under Maltese law, a trademark is liable to be declared invalid where the application for registration was made in bad faith. Accordingly, the applicant need only meet the prescribed requirements in order to register a trademark in Malta, without providing particular evidence of commercial use. Nevertheless, the registration may subsequently be revoked if the trademark is not put to genuine use in commerce in Malta for a period of five years from the date of registration, or if such use is suspended for a continuous five-year period.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.12
How much time does it typically take from filing an application to the first office action?
 
Malta
It generally takes about two to three months from the date of filing to the date of first action.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
3.13
How much time does it typically take from filing an application to publication?
 
Malta
Normally, it takes between five and six months from the date of filing to the date of registration.

For more information about this answer please contact: Silvana Zammit from Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates