In December 1997, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) began accepting retail services as allowable service marks.
The first related Examination Guidelines in this regard were put into practice in 1998. On February 1, 2011, new Guidelines for the Examination of Retailing Services were launched.
The new guidelines provide specific ‘yes or no’ guidance on ambiguous terms that are frequently designated to seek protection for retail services. They aim to avoid wasting examination manpower on overly itemised lists of services, or on listed services that are not relevant to the applicant’s actual business.
Further, owing to the complexity in cross-referenced similarity searches, the new guidelines elaborate examination principles to determine similarity. This amendment therefore greatly clarifies the remaining confusion over examination standards for determining trademark similarity for retail services.