A new Fiji Trademarks Act in 2021
The new Fijian Trademarks Act was gazetted on 20 August 2021 and replaces the Trade-Marks Act 1933 and the Merchandise Marks Act 1933. The Act will come in to force on a date still to be determined by the Minister. However, in the absence of any published regulations, it may still be a while before the commencement date.
In its general form, the Act is similar to the New Zealand Trade Marks Act 2002. Thus, the Act features the usual requirements regarding distinctiveness and that, to be registered, a trade-mark must not be likely to deceive or cause confusion. The Act can be accessed here.
There are provisions concerning Geographical Indications, Consent and Honest Concurrent Use.
Significantly, the Act adopts the Nice Classification of Goods and Services. This will be very good news for practitioners who have been struggling with the current, somewhat antiquated, classes (which are derived from a UK Act of many years ago!).
There are provisions for examination and a post-acceptance opposition period.
The Act also introduces a 10 year renewal period. For existing registrations, this change will have effect from their next renewal date after the Act comes into force.
If you would like more information or assistance with trade mark protection in Fiji, please contact us.
Frank Callus - August 2021