- Stavroula KarapapaStavroula KarapapaProfessor of Intellectual Property and Information Law, University of Reading
- and Luke McDonaghLuke McDonaghSenior Lecturer in Law, City, University of London
This chapter analyses the relative grounds for refusal of trade marks from registrability. Whilst absolute grounds are concerned with an analysis of a proposed mark's innate qualities, covering defects in the mark as such, relative grounds involve a comparison of the mark with prior rights. In particular, relative grounds occur when a mark applied for is already in use or when a similar mark is already in use. The chapter notes that s. 5 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 recognises three instances in which relative grounds for refusal will succeed: where the sign is identical to an earlier sign and the goods and/or services applied for are also identical; where the sign is identical to an earlier sign and the goods and/or services applied for are similar; and where the sign is similar to an earlier sign and the goods and/or services applied for are identical or similar.