At the end of August 2021, the new Fijian Trademarks Act 2021 (New Act) was gazetted, with a commencement date set to be announced in “the very near future”. This will replace the nearly century-old Fijian Trademarks Act 1933 (Act).
The current Act is based on the UK Trademark Act of 1905. Despite the current Act being nearly a century old, one of the primary issues with the current system is the application of the 1938 British Classification system. This system is particularly antiquated in its references to goods (for example the provision for “carriages” in class 22) and also does not allow for trade mark registration in respect of services. Fiji is not a member of the Nice Agreement meaning it does not use the International Classification of Goods and Service (Nice Classification).
This will however change under the New Act. Other changes under the New Act include allowing multi-class applications, recognition of priority claims under the Paris Convention and set the renewal period to 10 years. Furthermore, it is understood that the New Act is based on New Zealand’s Trade Marks Act 2002 and will feature requirements as regards distinctiveness.
This new act should vastly modernise Fiji’s trade mark landscape making it more accessible to those looking to expand their brands to this region of the South Pacific.
If you are interested in registering your trade mark in Fiji, please get in touch with us.