Source of Origin
Identify the source of your products and services. Protect your brands and your customers with trade mark registrations.
A trade mark registration may be obtained for signs that can be represented graphically and that are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. Trade mark registrations are typically obtained for images and words (or a combination of the two) but can potentially be obtained for shapes, sounds, and even smells.
A trade mark registration is an invaluable commercial tool for protecting your brands.
They can be used to prevent unauthorised third parties from using an identical sign in respect of identical goods or services. They can also be used to prevent the unauthorised use of an identical sign in respect of similar goods or services or a similar sign in respect of identical or similar goods or services, where such use would give rise to a likelihood of confusion. For reputable marks, they can even be used to prevent unauthorised third parties from using an identical or similar mark in respect of dissimilar goods or services.
Having the power to control who may and may not use a trade mark (or confusingly similar trade marks) allows businesses to indicate to customers that goods or services originate from them. Therefore, they enable business to protect their reputation and prevent copycats from introducing inferior products or services into the market. Not having your trade marks registered is a risky strategy and could leave you exposed.
Like other intellectual property rights, trade marks are territorial rights and must be obtained on a territory by territory basis. For example, if trade mark protection is required in China, it is necessary to file a trade mark application with the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office. However, there are some cost-effective strategies for seeking trade mark protection overseas.
The European Union has implemented a single trade mark registration which is effective across all European Union countries. Therefore, an EU trade mark registration is a very cost effective way to obtain trade mark protection in multiple European countries.
The Madrid System is another cost-effective approach to obtaining trade mark protection in multiple jurisdictions. Although Hong Kong is not yet a member of the Madrid System, it is expected Hong Kong will adopt the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement in 2022. The Madrid Protocol (Hong Kong) will enable local Hong Kong businesses to seek trade mark protection in a large number of overseas territories via a centralised application procedure.
Our fully UK qualified attorney offers a full range of trade mark services including clearance searching, filing, and prosecution. Please contact us to find out more.