Legal Bulletin August 2016

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Published date: 30 Aug 2016

Trade Marks Act amended to allow appeals against interlocutory decisions issued by the Registrar of Trade Marks

With effect from 10 June 2016, the Trade Marks Act has been amended to make possible appeals against interlocutory decisions issued by the Registrar of Trade Marks (“Registrar”). There was previously no avenue for appealing against interlocutory decisions issued during contentious proceedings before the Registrar. The Trade Marks Act is amended by the Statutes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2016.
 
Essentially, the amendment allows a party in interlocutory proceedings between two or more parties to appeal to the High Court from a decision of the Registrar in those proceedings if:
 
·         The decision terminates any matter concerning a trade mark or an application for a trade mark; and
 
·         The party is adversely affected by the termination of the matter.
 
As highlighted in the Second Reading Speech of the Statutes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2016 delivered on 9 May 2016 by the Senior Minister of State for Law, Ms Indranee Rajah, the absence of an avenue to appeal against interlocutory decisions issued by the Registrar might lead to potentially severe consequences where interlocutory decisions have the effect of bringing proceedings to an end. For example, where an interlocutory decision leads to a trade mark application being treated as withdrawn.
 
Practical impact
 
This is a significant amendment as it now provides a procedure for appealing against interlocutory decisions issued by the Registrar, albeit under the specific circumstances highlighted above. Adversely affected parties will now be given a chance to revive trade mark matters/applications terminated during interlocutory proceedings via an appeal to the High Court and parties who have succeeded in interlocutory proceedings before the Registrar must now be mindful of the possibility of an appeal to the High Court before the interlocutory decision has final effect.
 
Reference materials
 
The following materials are available from the Singapore Statutes Online website www.statutes.agc.gov.sg and the Ministry of Law website www.mlaw.gov.sg:
 
 
 
 
 
For further information, please contact:
 
+65 6890 7883
 
+65 6890 7894
 
+65 6890 7520
 
+65 6890 7568
  

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