Newsletter Aug 10, 2017

Could a landscape feature be able to be registered as trademark?

A phenomenon of bioluminescence of marine microorganisms in Matsu is called “Blue Tear”, which has become a local tourist attraction.
The “Blue Tear” has been filed and registered as a trademark with designated goods “tea and pastry” recently. Local people disagreed with the decision that the landscape feature, “Blue Tear”, could be registered as a trademark.

Regarding to this controversial issue, TIPO firstly explained that this natural phenomenon is not unique to Matsu. And whether a mark could be registered or not, the indication of source, usage, and the place of manufacture or production should be taken into consideration.
As people would not link the landscape feature, “Blue Tear” in Matsu, to the tea or pastry, the mark has distinctiveness, and it is eligible and allowed to be registered as a trademark.

Although the “Blue Tear” has been registered, it does not mean that it could not be used or mentioned in business in accordance with good faith in industrial or commercial activities by other people, as long as it doesn’t be used as a label for recognizing the origin of the similar.



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