The fundamental function of a trade mark is to act as a badge of origin. Some useful information to bear in mind:
Importance of registration:
- Prevents other traders from using your mark without your permission. Can also prevent other traders from registering an identical or similar mark.
- Provided your registration is renewed every 10 years, registration can be indefinite.
Developing your trade mark:
- Your trade mark should be different from other registered trade marks and trade marks in use. You do not want your trade mark to cause confusion between you and other traders.
- Choose non-generic terms. Trade marks that are invented words or words that do not describe your goods, for example Kodak film or apple computers, are always easier to register. Descriptive words such as fizzy for soft drink, common surnames for example Smith and geographical place names like Victoria are difficult to register.
Do not allow your trade mark to become vulnerable to removal for non-use:
- If another trader is interested in your trade mark, or a mark closely resembling your mark, the trader can apply to have your trade mark removed if you have not used your mark for a period of three years, once it has been registered for at least five years. While you do not have to use your trade mark immediately following registration, you should have a definite intention and a plan to use it in the country it is registered in.
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