As of 13 August 2021, the Namibian Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) will be included in TMclass. BIPA will join with the alphabetical list of the Nice classification.The inclusion of BIPA in TMclass brings the total number of participating national and regional IP offices, including ARIPO, OAPI, WIPO and the EUIPO, to 86.
ICYMI, a new Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) was released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last month. The July 2021 revision replaces and supersedes the October 2018 version, and it incorporates final rules, examination guides, and Supreme Court decisions that have issued since then.
At present, the Fiji Trademarks Act was implemented in 1933 and was based on the UK Trademarks Act of 1905. It has broadly remained unchanged ever since. The biggest issue for modern practitioners is Fiji not being a member of the Nice Agreement, meaning it does not use the International Classification of Goods and Services. Instead, it uses a version of the 1938 British Classification system – a system that is particularly dated in 2021 (it has only 50 different goods classes and 10 subclasses, no service classes, and some archaic categorisations, such as Fijian class 22 being for ‘carriages’ and Fijian class 8 being for ‘philosophical instruments’).That is now set to change. At the end of August 2021, the new Fijian Trademarks Act 2021 was gazetted, with a commencement date set to be announced soon. It is understood the new law is similar to the New Zealand Trademarks Act 2002 (which itself is similar to the Singapore Trademarks Act 1998 and the United Kingdom Trademarks Act 1994), although differences are expected when the full act is published in due course.