In an August 27 2015 trademark revocation case, the Supreme Administrative Court set a guideline to determine whether a registered trademark has become a generic term.

According to the Trademark Act, where a trademark has become a generic mark or term, or a common shape for designated goods or services, the Intellectual Property Office can revoke the registration of the trademark at its discretion or by request from any third party. However, the act is silent on the issue of how to determine whether a trademark has become a generic mark or term and thus lost its distinctiveness as a trademark.

The court pointed out that once a trademark has been registered, the criteria to determine whether that mark has lost its distinctiveness and become a generic term should be strict. A party that claims that a trademark has become a generic term must submit concrete evidence to prove that the majority of consumers recognise the term to be generic without the function as an indication of the source of goods or services.

For further information on this topic please contact Ruey-Sen Tsai at Lee and Li Attorneys at Law by telephone (+886 2 715 3300) or email ([email protected]). The Lee and Li website can be accessed at