Why and how to register a trademark in Macau

In Macau, trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction. Only in some exceptional cases can unregistered trademarks be protected. It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Macau in order for it to register.

Although Macau is a special administrative region of China, it has its own trademarks office and registered trademarks in China do not offer any protection in that jurisdiction. Therefore, in order for a trademark to be protected in Macau, it must necessarily be registered locally via the Intellectual Property Office of Macau.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Macau, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity.

Opposition actions may be filed by interested third parties against a trademark application within a period of two (2) months following its publication in the official gazette. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

The term of validity of a registered trademark in Macau is of seven (7) years from the application date. It can then be renewed indefinitely for successive periods of seven years. The renewal may be requested as early as six (6) months before the expiration date and as late as six months after it; if the renewal is requested after the expiration date, late renewal fees will apply.

Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for longer than three years after registration or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark.

For trademark search reports the trademark must be in Latin alphabet and will only consider other trademarks in Latin alphabet. If you wish to register a trademark that is composed of or includes pinyin or hanzi characters, the trademark search will need to consider trademarks written in pinyin or hanzi characters. If this is the case, please contact us; additional fees will apply.

 

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