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A big surprise for an entrepreneur may be the rejection of an application for TM registration. This is unpleasant and frustrating, but you can argue with this decision.

In this blog post, we provide a short overview of the procedures for appealing the rejection of an application for Maltese trademark registration. If you want to start a business in Malta, you may find this post helpful.

Why is it worth registering a TM in Malta

  1. Maltese laws are very strict regarding the commercial use of TM by third parties;
  2. The authorities of Malta may prohibit the import of goods into the country if they are imported without a license to use TM;
  3. In this jurisdiction, it is easy to file a civil action for TM rights infringement in Malta.

If you disagree with the rejection

An appeal against a rejected application for registration of a trademark in Malta takes place at the Court of Appeal. You just need to hurry up with filing an appeal within 15 days.

You can also file objection notices if your trademark has been registered previously and you are its rightful owner. Also, objections are accepted on the basis of a set of goods/services for which legal protection was previously obtained.

Third parties may object to a pre-registration application, with the appropriate rules and procedures set out in the Trademark Search Rules.

This allows owners of already registered rights to start TM proceedings in Malta prior to its approval, without annulment in court.

The procedure for opposition to TM  registration in Malta includes several steps:

  1. A search is carried out in the National Trademarks Register, after which the applicant is notified of the existence of an earlier mark;
  2. If the applicant chooses not to withdraw the application, the owner of the earlier mark will be informed about this.
  3. The owner of an already registered trademark has 60 working days to oppose the registration of the trademark in Malta;
  4. The application is published in a special online objection publication;
  5. In the absence of objections, the Maltese regulator will decide whether to approve or reject the application. At this stage, the applicant has the opportunity to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Important!

Anyone can be an unregistered trademark owner and still be able to initiate proceedings in Malta to counter an unfair trademark application.

Conclusion

For entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in Malta, it is important to consider that in order for a trademark registered in Malta to remain valid, it must be used. Otherwise, the registration may be revised and revoked.

If you have any questions regarding the registration of trademarks in Malta or TM dispute resolution in Malta, do not hesitate to contact our experienced legal advisors for more detailed information as part of an individual consultation.