Answer ... In accordance with the laws of Malta, a designation or other identifier consisting of any signs, words (including personal names) or designs, letters, numerals, colours, the shape of goods or their packaging or sounds may serve as a trademark in Malta.
Answer ... The Trademarks Act provides that the designation or identifier must have a distinctive character, thereby being capable of distinguishing the goods and/or services of one undertaking from those of others. Furthermore, the designation or identifier must be represented in a manner which enables the competent authorities and the public to determine the clear and precise subject matter of the protection afforded to its proprietor.
Answer ... The Trademarks Act provides for a number of grounds for refusal of registration of a designation, both absolute and relative.
Absolute grounds for refusal include the following:
- The designation or identifier is devoid of distinctive character;
- The designation or identifier consists exclusively of signs or indications that may serve in trade to indicate the kind, quality or intended purpose of the goods, among other things;
- The designation or identifier is a shape resulting from the nature of the goods or is a shape that gives substantial value to the goods;
- The designation or identifier is contrary to public policy or accepted principles of morality; or
- The designation or identifier may or is likely to deceive the public as to the nature, quality or origin of goods or services.
Relative grounds for refusal include the following:
- The designation or identifier is identical to an earlier registered trademark and the goods or services are also identical; or
- The designation or identifier is identical or similar to an earlier trademark and the use of the later trademark would take unfair advantage or be detrimental to the distinctive character or reputation of the earlier trademark.