Preliminary trade mark search with the National Intellectual Property Office, Sri Lanka before filing an application for registration of a mark is advisable. A trade mark search in Sri Lanka is conducted manually (often known as Index Trademark Search).


  1. What Trademarks may be registered in Sri Lanka?

The registration of mark may be granted to the person who is the First to fulfill the conditions of a valid claim at the earliest priority for his application.

The Governing Act specifies that a mark may consist of:

  • Arbitrary or fanciful designation,
  • names,
  • logos,
  • pseudonyms,
  • geographical names,
  • slogans,
  • devices,
  • letters,
  • numbers,
  • labels,
  • combination or arrangement of colours,
  • shapes of goods or containers, 
  1. What marks may not be registered in Sri Lanka?

A mark may not be registered in Sri Lanka if:

  • Any such mark is suggestive of the nature of goods and services;
  • The mark designates the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, and place of origin of the goods or services covered by it;
  • The mark becomes exclusively of a sign or indication which has become established practices of a trade in Sri Lanka in respect of any goods and services;
  • The mark is scandalous, or opposed to moral standards and is offensive to racial or religious sentiments of any community in Sri Lanka;
  • It is misleading in nature;
  • It is a geographical name, surname in ordinal specification;
  • It is a reproduction/ imitation of armorial bearings, flags, emblems, initials, abbreviation, official sign, hallmark of any state or international organization created by a convention, unless authorized by the state or the international organization;
  • It is similar to any other mark that has expired and not renewed during a period of two years preceding the filing of the application for registration of mark
  • It is similar to any other mark whose nullity, renunciation, removal has been recorded in the register during a period of two years preceding the filing of the application.
  • The goods and services covered under the mark are prohibited from being traded in Sri Lanka.  
  • It resembles a well-known trademark belonging to someone else.
  • It is in prior use by an unregistered owner.