Legal basis is the law of Macau, namely the Industrial Property Code, Decree-Law no. 97/99/M in force since December 13, 1999. Some IP relevant provisions may also be found in the Commercial code and the Copyright Act.
Macao is not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. Well-known status is recognised but its enforceability is dependent on registration.
Nice classification, 9th edition
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, three-dimensional forms, sound marks and any combination of the mentioned signs.
The following trademark types are registrable: product marks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks.
The application is filed at the Macau Economic Services - Intellectual Property Department by a local agent.
Multiple-class and series applications are not possible. Separate applications have to be filed for each mark in each class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A signed and notarized power of attorney is required. Legalization is not necessary.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published two (2) times in the official gazette prior to registration. The first publication is merely for publicity purposes and marks the two month term for opposition. The second publications makes known the IP Office's decision to grant/refuse registration after the examination process is concluded.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trademark in Macao is approximately 9 months.
The opposition period is 2 months from the date of the first publication of the application.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol.
Protection begins with the date of registration. A trademark registration is valid for 7 years from the date of registration. The registration is renewable for periods of 7 years.
If the trademark has not been used in the first three consecutive years from the date of registration (or any consucutive 3-year period thereafter), it may be subject to cancellation.
The official application fee is USD 125.00 for one mark and one class. No publication fee or registration fee is due.
Trademark Licence Agreement
A trademark licence agreement has to be in writing. It is permitted to license the use of unregistered trademarks, but a licence is not registrable unless the trademark owner files an application for the registration of the licensed mark with the Macau Trademarks Registration Office. A trademark may be licensed for some or all of the goods or services in respect of which the mark is registered or to be registered. There are exclusive and non-exclusive licences. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence.
There are statutory provisions and civil law principles ruling the terms of licensing, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties:
1. The licensee’s contractual position may not be assigned without the written consent of the trademark owner
2. The licensee may not appoint sub-licensees
3. The licence shall be deemed non-exclusive Z
4. In the case of exclusive licences and in the absence of the parties’ having agreed otherwise, it shall be presumed that the trademark owner is not prevented to directly exploit the trademark in the geographical area covered by the licence.
There are provisions in law for the recordal of a licensee. The recordal is voluntary, but a licence agreement becomes effective against third parties only upon registration with the Trademarks Registration Office. There is no time frame for a recordal and no prescribed form or content for the validity of a licence agreement.
Further documents are required for a recordal:
1. A power of attorney from the licensor or the licensee
2. The trademark registration certificate
A licence agreement becomes effective and enforceable against third parties after its registration with the Trademarks Office. The licence will be published once in the Macau Official Gazette. Only the information of the grant of the licence has to be published (trademark licensed, licensor and licensee’s identification), not the content of the licence.
There is an evidentiary presumption that use by a recorded licensee is permitted use. The licensee can join the trademark owner in infringement proceedings but he is not entitled to call upon the registered proprietor to institute trademark infringement proceedings. The registered user can institute proceedings in his own name without the proprietor being required to join in the infringement proceedings.
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