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What are similarity and relative grounds for refusal of trademarks?

Similarity and relative grounds for refusal of a trademark applications are when the trademark is already in use, or too similar to one in use, for the same Goods and Services. The test of similarity is whether there there is a likelihood of confusion or association between the two trademarks. This does not rely on a careful study of the two, but rather he risk of confusion to ‘a moron in a hurry’. This test was famously devised by Justice Foster in the English case Morning Star Cooperative Society v Express Newspapers Limited and has since been used in trademark hearings in many countries.

Updated on 23rd November 2020

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