BlogLegal ResourcesIntellectual Property: Use Trade Mark as Your Business Card

August 11, 20210

A trade mark is as important (for your business) as the goods you produce or the services you provide. In this article you will find why!

In fact, you might be aware of it. Whether you have seen the letter “R” enclosed in a circle (®) or the abbreviation ™ – they both indicate a trade mark. The only difference is that the first example relates to a legally registered trade mark.

What is a Trademark?

Generally, it is a branch of Intellectual Property. In Particular, it is the most valuable asset of your business. This is why:

Any of these signs might serve as a trade mark:

  • Words (even personal names)
  • Designs
  • Letters
  • Numbers
  • Colors
  • The shape of goods or their packages
  • Sounds
  • Logos, or
  • Symbols

At its simplest, their function is to distinguish the goods or services of one’s company, from another’s.

Real- life examples

Legit is a meeting point where law meets technology, business, and innovation. As a well- established brand it owns its intellectual property.

Its logo is Internationally Protected under Madrid’s System. Precisely:

  • Squares (part of the logo)
  • Letters in heavy characters (LEGIT)
  • The three predominant colors (white, red, black)

There is no new thing under the sun, and the ‘ownership’ is not pretended neither on these colors, nor on the letters. The composed logo and its elements constitute in itself an important element of the brand, and this is what Legit protects: the identity of its brand in the market. In order to do that, any interested person and/ or business addressing legal solutions at Legit, can easily distinguish its services just by looking at the logo.

Dua is another Albanian company operating in the International market. Dua’s mission is to revolutionize the way Albanian community connects, this is why it has given a considerable importance to its intellectual property.

How can your brand become distinguished in the market? Start it by designing a fine logo. Then, protect it internationally, just like Legit and Dua did. The latter has it trademark protected on these elements:

  • Horizontal lines (part of the half- heart)
  • The three predominant colors (white, red, black)
  • Broken lines (part of the half- heart)
  • Letters in heavy character (dua)

Is it always that easy?

In principle, yes. Nowadays, thanks to a single application you can protect your brand in up to 124 countries. Only that, at first you need some legal advice. Here, you are exactly at the right place!

Above, we explained briefly what can constitute a trade mark. However, the law has certain prohibitions. A sign cannot be registered as a mark if:

  • It shows no distinctive character;
  • It shows exclusively the type, quality, quantity, purpose, value, geographical origin or time of manufacture of goods/ services;
  • It indicate characteristics of the goods/ services;
  • Its elements show the nature of the goods/ services;
  • It consists of elements that violate the public interest or that are contrary to public order;
  • It consists names of Countries (full or abbreviated);
  • It consists of State’ emblems, medals, order of honor, seals and official marks;
  • It consists of descriptive elements;
  • It consists of National flags.

Are we done yet? Not really. You can access the full list here (Article 142).

Nevertheless, always consider that in order to be protected as a “trademark”, a sign must be:

  • Distinctive,
  • Non deceptive
  • To satisfy the legal requirements of the country where protection is requested.

Your trade mark is your business card, wise it wisely!

  • Know your product. Then alter your mark to what you bring (product or service) in the market.
  • Contact a good designer and an excellent lawyer. The creativity of the first will need the legal knowledge of the second.
  • Monetize as many licenses as you can.
  • Your businesses’ name is not your trade mark.

You register your business for tax purposes. The free market’s economy enables you to name it after your name (or not). Nevertheless, you should register its trademark for these reasons:

  • You position your business in the market.
  • Any good and/ or service you provide, will be accompanied by your logo, therefore the consumer will know its source.
  • It boosts the brand’s attractiveness in the market.
  • A registered mark prevents others from using (unlawfully) your product/ service or logo.
  • A registered mark prohibits any competitor from creating a product/ service similar to yours.

Think about your favorite soft- drink. Probably you can imagine these elements:

  • The shape of its bottle.
  • The packing.
  • The form of the logo.
  •  The taste of the liquid.

Now imagine this situation: It is a hot summer day. You go to the market to refresh yourself with your favorite drink. You check all the refrigerator shelves, but apparently the market has run out of it. Unexpectedly, there is a smaller bottle, with a logo lighter in color, similarly in package to your favorite drink. You go for it because “Maybe they have changed the package.”

You pay for it, leave the market and drink the first sip. The taste is categorically not alike. Disappointed enough? Probably! In a simple way, this is why you need trade mark protection both as a consumer and a businessperson.

  • It helps you to choose the exact product that you need.
  • You are fully aware of the product quality and its origin.

However, not only words and logos can serve as a trade mark.

  • Plain colors might serve as a trade mark as well

Tiffany & Co. holds a trademark in one of the shades of blue.

  • A single hologram might be a trademark.
  • Smells can be protected as trademarks.
  • Sounds can serve as a trade mark too.

The sound composed by Alfred Newman, played anytime the 20th Century Fox logo appears, is also a trademark.

Intellectual Property is rich in laws and information. Here at Legit we make sure to provide the best of both worlds, with a hint of back- up history.

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