According to the intellectual property law, trademarks or service marks shall be optional. However, they may exceptionally be declared compulsory for the goods and services that they specify.

Signs recognized as marks entail any visible sign used or intended to be used and capable of distinguishing the goods or services of any enterprise. Such marks shall be considered as trade marks or service marks, including in particular surnames by themselves or in a distinctive form, special, arbitrary or fanciful designations, the characteristic form of a product or its packaging, labels, wrappers, emblems, prints, stamps, seals, vignettes, borders, combinations or arrangements of colours, drawings, reliefs, letters, numbers, devices and pseudonyms.

Trade marks and service marks are considered collective marks where the conditions for their use are laid down in rules approved by the competent authority and where they may be used only by enterprises of public character, unions or groups of unions, associations, groups of producers, manufacturers, craftsmen or tradesmen, provided that the later are officially recognized and have legal personality.

Some marks are not eligible for registration or intellectual property protection. These marks include;

  • Marks devoid of distinctiveness notably owing to the fact that they consist of signs or matter constituting the necessary or genetic designation of the product or the composition thereof,
  • Marks identical to a mark that belongs to another owner and is already registered, or the filing or priority date of which is earlier, and which relates to the same or similar goods or services, or where it so resembles such a mark that it is liable to mislead or confuse,
  • Marks contrary to public policy, morality or the law,
  • Marks liable to mislead the public or business circles, notably as to the geographical origin, nature or characteristics of the goods or services in question,
  • Marks that reproduce, initiates or incorporates armorial bearings, flags or other emblems, the abbreviate name or acronym or an official sign or hall mark indicating control and warranty of a state or inter-governmental organization established by an international convention, except where the competent authority of that state or of that organization has given its permission.
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