19 January 2024

Government fails to respond to a national trademark application

Under Article 4-1 of Sovereign Ordinance No. 7,801 passed in September 1983, a claimant observed the allotted eight-day period for submitting their observations and arguments in support of their trademark application, but received no reply from the Government.  

Despite repeated requests for an explanation as to the lack of response, nothing was forthcoming. 

The claimant was not given notice of any decision, and was left facing a wall of opacity from the Government, with no information on the status of their application. This silence, which went on for more than a year, caused the claimant direct economic loss as they were unable to use their trademark legally. Their legal rights were also infringed: not only was the claimant left entirely in the dark, with a feeling of great injustice, but the Government’s lack of response prevented them from lodging any kind of appeal. 

The High Commission deplored the Government’s breach of Article 4 of Act No. 1,312 requiring it to give grounds for its administrative actions, pointing out that “the recipient of an implicit decision may ask to be informed of the reasons for the decision”. In its letter to the authorities, the High Commission pointed to the clear lack of respect for proper administrative procedure and its potentially negative consequences, particularly for the stable rule of law. 

Since it is unable to act in the Government’s place, the High Commission strongly recommended that the claimant be given a clear, detailed, reasoned response, to allow both sides to argue their case and, at the very least, to ensure that the Government acts transparently in procedures concerning economic and commercial activities in the Principality. 

Referral Tracking