The first and most important step to protect a company’s trade mark is by way of registration with the relevant government agency / authority.
Omission to secure the legal ownership of a company’s brand is commonly seen among Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs). This due to low awareness among SMEs hence protection of brand is not the top priority of the to-do list.
By failing to secure the ownership of a trade mark, the owner is facing the risk of trade mark hijacking, loss of ownership, loss of statutory rights to sue and other unforeseeable commercial risks. Further, registration of trade mark in some jurisdictions is on “first-to-file” basis. In addition to “stealing” of brand by competitors, SMEs should prevent someone might create the same brand name by accident!
REGISTRATION OF TRADE MARK
The following is the general overview of trade mark registration process. It should be pointed out that some jurisdictions may have different procedures. For example, certain country may require the trade mark applicant to produce evidence of use before issuance of certificate of registrations. This is to ensure there is use of the trade mark in good faith.
In addition to the right of exclusive use, the certificate of registration issued by the relevant Trade Mark Authority Office serves as a legally recognized proof of ownership of a trade mark.
Also, registered trade mark may be dealt like a real property by licensing the use of the mark to another party for royalty fee or sell the ownership of the mark (by way of assignment) and make a windfall gain!
TERRITORIAL BASED PROTECTION
Exclusive use of a trade mark is on territorial basis granted by the designated jurisdiction. Currently there is no unitary system to register a trade mark globally. Therefore, SMEs have to register their trade mark in the designated country individually.
Contact us today for free consultation on how to protect your brands!