Everyone daily interacts with hundreds of brands: in social networks, shops, cafes. We select foodstuffs in supermarket, clothes in store, headphones for smartphone. In addition, any such interaction awakens different associations and leaves a certain impression. If some “magic” has worked between the consumer and the product, then the company has a strong brand.
Often entrepreneurs, in pursuit of uniqueness, simply forget to register a “monopoly” for their brand (logo, name and other attributes) as a trademark. This forgetfulness can result in the use of your intellectual property by your competitors
A trademark (also known as a mark for goods and services, a trademark, or a TM) is a verbal, pictorial, combined or other designation that serves to individualize goods. It is the trademark that has become the most widespread and frequently used intellectual property object. In 2020, the total number of registered marks in the world is over 40 million. And the growth rate is almost 2 million per annum. These numbers speak for themselves.
More and more companies are realizing the importance of registering a trademark. As soon as a businessperson delves into the essence of this type of intellectual property, the question “to register or not?” is resolved affirmatively at that very moment.
What are the benefits of a registered mark for goods and services?
- the company and its products become recognizable;
- protection of goods and services from illegal imitation and counterfeiting (entry into the customs register);
- in the case of legal disputes, registration will serve as a significant help for legal protection;
- improving image, prestige and quality assurance of goods and business;
- possibility of transferring the right to use the trademark for material remuneration;
- increasing the company’s value in the process of strengthening the brand;
- guarantee of the exclusivity of the trademark components use (logo, slogan, name) at the market of such goods and services.
- right to register first-level “.ua” domain.
What types of designations can be registered as trademarks?
- verbal – consist of words, letters, numbers, names, surnames, for example, Ford, named after its founder;
- emblems representing elements, color combinations;
- three-dimensional designation – package of goods or goods themselves;
- a new type of trademark – holograms, if you look at a credit card, you can see a small image that changes depending on the viewing angle;
- sound marks (music screensavers for television shows, soundtracks for advertisements)
- in some countries there are even trademarks that smell like lavender for bed linen.
Of course, the creation and registration of a trademark requires certain financial investments. Therefore, many are concerned about the protection of this type of intellectual property. It all depends on the legislation of the countries, in which the trademark protection is required. However, in most countries the most common method of protection is used – this is registration in the register of trademarks. This approach is also valid in Ukraine.
Thus, a trademark is firstly registered and a certificate is obtained for it, although the legal protection of a trademark is provided not from the moment of registration, but from the moment of filing an application. This is logical, because the registration procedure is quite long-term – from 12 up to 18 months on average. In addition, in some countries, unregistered marks for goods and services are protected, but on the condition that such a mark does not acquire a reputation at the market and sufficient recognizability.