As well as technical innovations, a business needs to protect its name and reputation. A trade mark is a visual or audible identifier of goods or services offered by its owner and serves to distinguish those goods or services from those offered by another provider.
It is usually a word/phrase or a design/logo, but may also be a sound or smell. When filing an application for trade mark the applicant lists the goods and services to be provided under the trade mark. Care should be taken not to list too many goods and services: the mark can be revoked if the goods and services are not subsequently provided.
Certain words cannot be registered as trade marks, for example, words which are descriptive of the quality of the goods/services being offered, as this would prevent third parties from legitimately using such words.
In some countries, including the UK, a trade mark, even if unregistered, may be valid if it has been extensively used, although it is usually easier to enforce a registered trade mark. For marks in Europe, applications may be filed at national IP offices or to the EUIPO (for a EU trade mark). These may be used through the Madrid Protocol to seek an international trade mark.
Please contact Angel IP in relation to any trade mark matters.
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