If you want to start a new business, you will probably think about of ways to stand out from your competitors. It’s important to know that you can create a trademark and, in order to protect it from potential infringements you should register it.
Anyway, what is a trademark?
A trademark is a sign which can be represented graphically to differentiate your products or services from your competitors, regardless of whether you are an individual or a company.
For example, it can be composed of words, including names of people, drawings, letters, digits, colors, figurative elements, the shape of the product or the packaging, even sounds. The consumers, when seeing the trademark, will identify it with the product offered by you, a fact that will make them choose you based on recommendations or even their own experiences.
Besides the fact that it is a graphic sign, it must be distinctive, namely not just a usual, necessary sign or a descriptive one because in this way onopolies could be created.
You can’t use as a trademark words like “sugar” or “heels” for, actually, products like sugar or heels, because no one could use them after and it’s likely to affect the competition.
This sign has to be a new one, available, we can’t build it based on the other trademarks of the competitors because we would infringe their rights. You can use your own creativity – or you can call an expert to do this job for you. In any event, you have to be very careful when creating the trademark so it’s not already used or similar to another. To this end, you can check the national trademark databases.
If you are planning to open a business that produces clothing, you cannot use H&M as a trademark because it already exists. The potential clients may buy from your firm, believing that they will buy clothes with a certain known standard. This can affect the rights of intellectual property of that store chain.
Also, the trademark should be a lawful one, it cannot be against the public order or good morals or to contain certain aspects for which an authorization is necessary.
It cannot be a deceptive trademark – namely, to contain wrong indications or mislead the clients. For example, if you want to sell products that don’t contain banana flavor, you cannot use a trademark that would led the customers to believe the product contains this flavor.
Who can own a trademark?
As we anticipated, every individual, public or private entity can be the holder and register a trademark at OSIM. Political parties, law firms, NGOs can also, do this and the list can be continued.
Why have you to register it?
Because it’s the best way to gain rights to sanction some illegal behaviours from the competitors. You can start a trial if your rights are violated.
Where should you register it?
First of all, a file must be filled. It contains the registration application, your dates, a graphic representation of the trademark, the products/services for which you request the registration, and the proof of paying the filing and publication fee of the application.
The first person who submit these documents will be considered the holder of the trademark.
Then, OSIM checks every date and will issue a favorable decision or not.
If your application is admitted, the trademark will be registered in the Trademark Register and the holder can use it for 10 years with the possibility of renewing with the possbility of renewal.
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