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Decision of the Senate (Supreme Court) of the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republikas Senāts) 17 December 2020 – Case No. SKC-1032/2020

  1. 1.

    If the elements referred to in para. 4 of Art. 5 of the Law on Trade Marks and Indications of Geographical Origin, which individually may not be registered as trade marks, have been incorporated in a trade mark, and registration of that mark could or might cause doubt as to the extent of the rights conferred, the Patent Office, when registering the mark, may exclude those elements from protection with a special annotation (disclaimer or exclusion from protection).

  2. 2.

    The legislator has clearly expressis verbis assigned the right of disclamation to the competence of the Patent Office, which may disclaim of its own motion and not at the initiative of an applicant or an opponent.

  3. 3.

    There is no provision which would require a court to exclude from protection (disclaim) an element included in a registered trade mark.

  4. 4.

    Disclamation does not constitute a declaration of invalidity of a trade mark in part and does not reduce the scope of the rights conferred by registration of the trade mark, as it in fact has merely an informative or educational function.

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Translated from the Latvian by Vadim Mantrov.

Translator’s note: “The Senate” is another legal and historical title for the Supreme Court in Latvia. Both titles are used in Latvia as synonyms in relation to the cassation court instance. The Supreme Court itself prefers to use the title “Senate” in its judgments.

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Nizhegorodsky Chemical – Pharmaceutical Plant JSC v. Briz SIA Law on Trade Marks and Indications of Geographical Origin, Arts. 5, 13; Civil Procedure Law, Art. 23. “Citramons”. IIC 52, 967–971 (2021).

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  • Disclaimers
  • Competence to introduce disclaimers
  • Invalidity of registration
  • Exclusion of trade mark elements from protection
  • Patent office
  • Reduction of scope of rights