The words "registered trademark" are frequently written on the product's back. But why does that matter? What does it mean? It is printed on almost all of the items we use in our daily lives, from essential household materials to the littlest things.
There are so many misconceptions concerning what trademark registration truly means. For example, some people think that holding a trademark gives you the authority to forbid others from using a specific word or phrase. Well, that’s not the case, you only have rights to the word or phrase as it is used in conjunction with your particular goods or services. This means that you do not own the word or phrase in general.
A company trademark registration means the business has the exclusive right to use the product's name or any other feature. To clear up further issues like this, we have carefully curated this article to explain what trademark registration is and what it is not.
Read this article to the end, it answers all the questions you might have on the topic. So let’s get into the article. We must first comprehend the meaning of "trademark" before we can proceed. So what is it?
What Is A Trademark?
A trademark is anything that uniquely distinguishes your products or services, including words, phrases, symbols, designs, or a combination of these. It is very essential for brand identity because customers use it to recognize you in the marketplace and set you apart from your rivals. Trademarks are protected by intellectual property rights which can be obtained by filing a registration with the national or regional trademark offices (e.g. USPTO, EUIPO) . A trademark can also be filed at international levle through WIPO.
Types Of Trademarks
There are two (2) different categories namely-- General Trademarks and Specific trademarks. These two categories have different types of trademarks under them. For the purpose of this article, we will only be looking at the general trademark category. Here we have five types of trademarks. Let's look at them.
An Arbitrary Mark takes words or phrases from the common language. These terms, however, ought to have absolutely nothing to do with the products they describe. The higher expense of advertising methods, therefore, becomes the caveat. The focus should be placed on introducing the new semantic association to the audience. This should not discourage you, though, as success would bring about substantial rewards. Consider the skincare brand "Dove" as an illustration. It sells skincare products that are well-known for being both luxury items and, ironically, not suitable for animals. The combination of their smart intellectual property management and successful marketing accounts for a sizeable percentage of their success.
A descriptive mark simply serves to characterize the product by identifying one or more features of a good or service. It has distinctive characteristics that make it eligible for trademark protection under trademark laws. For example, it must have a secondary meaning to be eligible, which can be demonstrated by the volume and style of advertising, the number of sales, the length and style of use of the mark, or the findings of consumer surveys. Customers must therefore be able to recognize the mark and associate it with the brand.
It must change from what the brand represents to who the brand represents in order to be considered a descriptive mark.
The simplest type of trademark to register is this one. It merely needs a new word that the general public does not yet understand. Examples include Nike, Adidas, Kodak, etc. Even though they are simpler to file, imaginative marks also need careful consideration. The business should pay close attention to how the audience would perceive the brand. It is best to conduct thorough research to see whether a word would be simple to speak, spell, or remember. Companies should take into account the cultural undertones of their fanciful mark because brands almost certainly seek good attributions for their business.
The ordinary descriptions of a product or its vendor are represented by generic marks. Typical examples include “Waffle House” “The Ice Cream Factory” and many more. A generic mark must describe the attributes, traits, or components of the product your company sells in order to qualify as a trademark.
A suggestive mark makes a statement regarding the product or service. Usually, a mark in this category is protected without the need for a secondary meaning.
The word "suggestive" denotes the fact that a buyer must use their imagination to ascertain what products or services the business provides.
Other types of trademarks include Certification Trademarks, Service Trademarks, House Trademarks, and many more. But how can you register for a trademark?
How To File a Trademark Application?
You probably have certain source identifiers as soon as you launch a small business or create a product, such as your company name and logo. Is it necessary for you to start thinking about trademarks right away?
You might not think it's necessary because your business is still small, but after your company gains traction, you should think about trademark registration to have legal protection. Here’s how to go about your trademark registration.
Confirm That Your Trademark Is Available
As part of your competitive study, it is a good idea to check whether a name you have in mind for your company or items has already been registered. Start in your home country to look up your possible trademark utilizing online databases kept by the governments of the nations in which you conduct business.
Use quotation marks to get an accurate match when searching for your trademark term. If there are multiple terms in the phrase, search for each one separately. By using quotation marks, you can avoid sifting through a lot of irrelevant results and find accurate matches for your search. Even if results do appear for the trademark phrases you've selected, that doesn't mean they're automatically eliminated. It’s also important to note that not only the visual similarity pose a risk but also by the spoken use. Phonetic similarities in sound are also one factor in determining whether the mark is confusing or not.
If you are finding this difficult, you’ll be pleased to know that Digip can help you conduct this search without all this hassle. Digip uses a AI to make it easy for customers to search for trademarks. All you need to do is just visit the website and start your trademark search.
Register Your Trademark
After determining that your trademark is available in the country you are operating or planning to operate in, it’s now time to file a trademark registration. There are numerous ways to file a trademark registration—through online or submit a paper application.
Online trademark services like Digip now offer a convenient way of filing trademark through online means. Do not worry of making mistakes as trademark experts will review your application before sending it in to the appropriate trademark offices.
Submit a paper application
If you’re an old school and would still like to do things traditionally, you may want to opt for submitting a paper application. This will require you to fill out documents manually and submitting it in person.
Only qualified expertise like Digip’s experts can provide would be able to advise with absolute certainty and say.
Protect Your Trademark
The best way to protect your trademark is to employ the services of a reliable digital trademark protection service like Digip. In today's digital age, protecting your company's reputation and brand identity is crucial. Your brand is your most precious asset, thus it needs extensive protection services that are ongoing. For your brand to remain authentic and successful both now and in the future, digital monitoring is essential. Online brand reputation, revenue, and intellectual property protection are becoming crucial components of business strategy. Visit the Digip website to learn more