When passing off is enough to successfully oppose a trade mark

Kat friend Just Wang of Bird & Bird ATMD in Singapore discusses how one can rely on passing off to successfully oppose the registration of a mark. Can a foreign brand owner with no earlier trade mark registration, nor recognition of its brand being "well known" in Singapore, stop another trader from registering the same brand there? That was the issue considered by The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore's (IPOS) in the opposition matter of U-Manga International Business Co., Ltd v nunufish.com . Relying on proof of a claim of passing off, the answer was “yes”. Background"Footpure" is a brand of foot deodorant powder from Taiwan. The Applicant was a sole proprietorship operating Nunufish.com, an online platform selling various personal care products. The Opponent, U-Manga International Business Co., Ltd, was the owner of the registered trade mark "footpure" in Taiwan, but it had not obtained registration for the…

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