Consultation Paper on Trade Mark Rules

CONSULTATION PAPER ON TRADE MARK RULES

The Bar has no comment on the above rules which are procedural in
nature and do not involve any question of principle.

The only comments we have on the Rules are:

(1) We consider the 6 month period for filing each round of evidence
in opposition proceedings to be excessively long (sections 15(1),
(3) & (4) of the Rules). We repeat our comments dated 1 February
1999 and reproduce the same

for ease of reference:

"The result of such a timetable would be that trade mark oppositions,
even in relatively straightforward cases, would take longer to reach
a decision than most High Court actions take to reach trial. In any
event, the Trade Mark Registrar has power to extend time. In our view,
a 3-month period for each round of evidence is more than adequate."

(2) We consider that there should be power to extend time for filing
the notice of opposition under section 13(1) of the Rules and for
filing the counter-statement under section 14(1) & (3) of the
Rules. Section 65(3) should be amended accordingly to exclude these
sections. As with the filing of evidence, there should be power to
extend time. Such rigidity regarding the time for filing the notice
of opposition and counter-statement respectively is unwarranted and
would work injustice particularly in the case of the filing of a notice
of opposition as the publication of an application may escape the
notice of the intended opponent.

Ronny Tong, S.C.

Chairman

Dated 24th March 2000

Hong Kong Bar Association