A breach of natural justice


Chew Kherk Ying and Chen Hong Sze

A trademark registration was invalidated by the Malaysian High Court as a result of a breach of natural justice. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal in May 2012.

The plaintiff, Ginvera Marketing Enterprise Sdn Bhd, developed an exfoliating gel product and started selling under the brand name ‘Marvel Gel’.

In 1999, Ginvera applied to register ‘Marvel Gel’ as its trademark. The defendant, Tohtonku Sdn Bhd, opposed Ginvera’s application when the trademark ‘Marvel Gel’ was advertised in the Government Gazette, contending that it had used the name as part of the description for one of its skin products, known as ‘Follow Me UV White Marvel Gel’.

Despite the impending opposition proceedings, the registrar issued the Certificate of Registration for Marvel Gel even when a search conducted at the office of the registrar showed the legal status of Ginvera’s application as ‘pending (opposition)’.

Trademark, registration, invalidated