What is a trademark?
A trademark is a way for consumers to identify a particular company and its products, brands, and services. Sometimes a company’s trademark is its most valuable asset.
- Words– A trademark consisting of one or several words, letters, and/or numbers.
- Images— A trademark consisting of special logotypes, images, or icons.
- Words + Images– A trademark that consists of one or more words, letters, and/or numbers in combination with a logo, image, or any recognizable emblem or shape.
- Slogan– Trademarks with special, carefully composed sentences or words.
- Colours– Colours may be registered as trademarks.
- Scents – In some jurisdictions, scents arising from certain products may be registered as trademarks.
- Sounds— In some jurisdictions sounds and special melodies may be protected as trademarks.
- Three-dimensional trademarks (3D)— The appearance or the general shape of the products can be registered as a trademark.
- Joint trademarks– Trademarks owned or used by several different owners, which form a union or association that has a common product line and common interests.
- Mark of quality – A sign used in the trade to show that products and services guarantee high standards of quality and correspond to quality control criteria.
Why protect trademarks?
By protecting your trademark, you ensure the protection of all of your efforts to build a brand, so that nobody can use the results of your efforts for their own purposes without your consent. Once your trademark has been registered, if someone uses it or a trademark that is very similar to yours, you have legal grounds to protect against this, to take legal action against the infringer, and to recover damages.
What to consider before registering a trademark
Companies seeking to ensure the legitimacy of a trademark before it is registered must consider a few points and answer a few questions. These questions may include:
- What is your direction? – This question refers not only to the particular country in which you are registered, but also to the potential competition, timing of registration, local laws and signed contracts under trademark laws.
- Market study and research – Same as SWOT analysis, but in relation to a particular country of registration.
- What are you offering? – Is your trademark suitable for the market it is going into? What are your differences from your competitors?
- Costs and related expenses – This is a very important question, because in some countries, the official fees can be very high. In addition, you will have to pay for the services of an agent who will be involved in the registration. Sometimes it can play a decisive role in the decision not to enter certain markets.
- Documents and other information – Have you prepared all of the documents needed to register your trademark or does the country of registration has special requirements that will take up a lot of time?
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