商標「善意」先使用:明知或非明知? 實習律師李汝民 Using its trademark with Bona fide: knowingly or not knowingly? Intern Lawyer Ru-Min Lee

前言Preamble

商標法第30條第1項第3款規定:在他人商標註冊申請日前,善意使用相同或近似之商標於同一或類似之商品或服務者,不受他人商標權之效力所拘束。同款但書並規定,善意使用以原使用之商品或服務為限,商標權人並得要求其附加適當之區別標示。此即商標法所謂「善意先使用」之規定(商標法逐條釋義,頁95),其立法目的在於,商標權人於商標獲准註冊後雖享有排除他人使用其商標之權利,但為了避免過度保護商標專用權利反而造成市場自由競爭之阻礙、以及適當調和商標先註冊主義與先使用主義之衝突,故對於商標專用權利加諸一定之限制。

Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(3): by bona fide, prior to the filing date of the registered trademark, the proprietor of the registered trademark is entitled to request the party who use the trademark to add an appropriate and distinguishing indication when there is an identical or similar trademark on goods or services identical with or similar to those for which the registered trademark is protected for which the use is only on the original goods or services.

The purpose for such is for the proprietor of the registered to exclude others from using its registered trademark. Even though such third person knowingly used another person’s well-known registered trademark with bona fide (Trademark Act Interpretation, page 95). However in order to prevent overprotection on its trademark right which obstruct its free trade competition, it is important to have an appropriate reconciliation between the first register doctrine and the doctrine of first use of trademark. Therefore some of the restrictions need to be imposed on its trademark rights.

「善意」之解釋

What is ‘bona fide’?

然,所謂的「善意」,解釋上可能如同民法條文之「善意第三人」,係「不知情」之意。則「善意先使用」即須不知有他人商標,而使用相同或近似之商標於同一或類似之商品或服務,方可主張。

However the word ‘bona fide’, from its interpretation in civil law means ‘bona fides third party’, which has ‘not knowingly’ meaning. Where the trademark is identical with or similar to another person’s registered trademark in relation to goods or services, for which another person’s registered trademark is designated, does exists its likelihood of confusion on relevant consumers, would have grounds for revocation.

實務上有台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決可供參考。該判決指出,「商標法第30條第1項第3款之『善意』,係指『並非以不正當競爭為目的』,即使商標權人已使用商標,未申請註冊,但第三人明知該商標己使用,卻使用他人商標,在商標權人註冊商標後,第三人仍使用該商標,其不得主張係善意使用。」

In practice, the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70 can be used as reference. For its case, it indicates that the Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(3) ‘bona fide’ means ‘not for the purpose of unfair competition’. Despite that the proprietor of the registered has previously used its trademark, if such trademark is not registered and the third person still uses its trademark knowingly, such person is prohibited to claim prior use of such trademark after its trademark is being registered.

亦即,該判決認為第三人必須「非明知該商標已使用」方可主張善意先使用,可認為其對於商標法「善意」之解釋較為接近民法上之「善意」--即不知情。

The judicial reasoning behind this case is that the third person must ‘not knowingly use its trademark’ to claim for its bona fide prior use. You can treat the word ‘bona fide’ defined in Trademark Act similar to the ‘bona fide’ defined in Civil Law.

然亦有法院就善意之解釋採取更為寬泛之見解。台灣高等法院96年度上易字第597號判決指出,「按判斷是否符合商標法第30條第1項第1款之『善意』要件,考諸商標法為保障商標權及消費者利益,維護市場公平競爭,促進工商企業正常發展之立法目的,除視使用人是否知悉他人尚未申請註冊商標之存在以外,尚應視使用人於使用時是否意圖影射他人商標之信譽,而致影響公平競爭秩序為斷,以保護善意創用之使用人

There is wider interpretation of ‘bona fide’ by court, the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 96 years Zhang Yi No. 597 indicates that in order “to determine whether such element satisfies the ‘bona fide’ defined in Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(1), you need to consider whether such Trademark Act would protect consumers’ best interest and to maintain trade market fairness and to promote industrial and commercial enterprises development. Apart from knowing whether such user knowingly used its unregistered trademark, it is important to know whether such user intent to take advantage of its trademark reputation in result of disturbing its trade market fair competition. The purpose for this is to protect the first trademark user with bona fide.

又現行商標法第30條第1項規定為:『凡以善意且合理使用之方法,...』,考其真意,核與美國法上之『fairly and in good faith』相當,是此『善意』並非民法上向來所解之『不知情』,亦不以無過失為要件。」

The Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1 indicates: “reasonable with bona fide…”, is similar to the American Law “fairly and in good faith” but not similar to ‘not knowingly’ defined in Civil Law, which doesn’t constitute ‘negligent’ as one of the elements.

依照上述判決,則可以主張「善意」使用他人商標之情形即有下列兩者:

From the above cases, we can know that there are two scenarios to define ‘bona fide’:

(1)   不知悉他人尚未申請註冊商標之存在。

Not knowingly the existence of other unregistered trademarks.

(2)   雖知悉他人商標之存在,但使用人於使用時並無影射他人商標信譽之意圖。

Despite knowing the existence of other trademark, but such user does not have the intention to take advantage of its trademark reputation.

(1)之情形同於前述台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決之見解,但(2)之情形即係知情卻仍能主張善意先使用之例,可知上述高等法院之判決對於商標法「善意」先使用之解釋係較民法之「善意」先使用更為寬泛,可以說是更偏向於先使用主義之判決。

What’s described in (1) is similar to the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70, however what’s described in (2) above focuses on ‘knowingly’ but with bona fide prior use. There seems to have wider interpretation of ‘bona fide’ defined in Trademark Act than what’s defined in Civil Law which is more toward the bona fide prior use doctrine.

評析 Review

我國商標法第2條於92年修法後,已將原本法條文字「確具使用之意思」刪除,且修法理由亦明示本法採註冊保護原則,故我國商標法於92年修法後應係採先註冊主義無疑。

After the amended Trademark Act Article 2 in 2003, after amendment, deleted the word ‘indeed with the use of means’, such Act inherited the registered protection doctrine and therefore after its amendment in 2003, there is no doubt that Taiwan employs a first-to-register system for trademark protection.

先註冊主義的確可能衍生濫行申請而並無真正使用商標意思之問題,但此已有繼續三年未使用等商標廢止程序可供利用。故,商標法第30條第1項第3款之「善意」先使用實不應再採取過於擴張之解釋,以免因為本條之規定反而使本法傾向於先使用主義,而與第2條總則之規定產生衝突。

However the first-to-register system has its inherent problems to register trademarks even it is not really necessary. However there is a rule set out in its Trademark Act to cease its registration if such trademark has not been used for three years continuously. Therefore Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(3) ‘bona fide’ prior use should not have any wide interpretation to prevent any conflicts between the first-to register system defined in Paragraph 2.

此外,本國係採「民商合一」制度之國家,因此商標法之解釋亦應以民法相同之法概念為依歸,否則可能造成法體系之混亂與適用之衝突。

On the other hand, Taiwan inherent Civil and Commercial combination system, therefore Trademark Act’s interpretation should be the same as the Civil Law in Taiwan otherwise there may have conflict of laws between the two systems.

最後,美國商標制度本即係採「先使用主義」,於1998年後其商標制度雖有修正,亦僅修正為「先使用與先註冊並行主義」,而非改採先註冊主義。故前述台灣高等法院96年度上易字第597號判決以美國法上之「fairly and in good faith」解釋我國商標法之「善意先使用」實對於我國與美國之商標體制差異有欠考量。綜上所述,本文認同台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決,「善意」先使用應以第三人非明知系爭商標已使用為要件。

Lastly America employs first-to-use system, despite that there was some amendment after year 1998, however it is still ‘first-to use-and-register-system’, not the first-to-register system. Therefore in the previously described case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 96 years Zhang Yi No. 597’s “fairly and in good faith” indicates Taiwan and America’s differences in Trademark’s ‘first-to-use’ system. For the summary above, the author personally believe that the case verdict from the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70, is to consider whether the third person used its registered trademark as one of the elements by employing its ‘bona fide’ prior use doctrine.

參考資料 References

1.經濟部智慧財產局,《商標法逐條釋義》,2005年5月。

Intellectual Property Office (2005, May) Trademark Act Interpretation.

2.台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決

Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70 Case

3.台灣高等法院96年度上易字第597號判決

Taiwan Taipei District Court 96 years Zhang Yi No. 597 Case 

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眾律國際專利商標事務所/眾律國際法律事務所

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