A trade-mark can consist of a word, slogan, logo, symbol, design or any combination thereof, adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify his or her goods or services and to distinguish them from those manufactured and sold by others. Examples are everywhere you look: the words “Coca Cola” and the Nike “swoosh” are but just two.
It is the “good will” which gives a trade-mark value and keeps the consumers interested in purchasing one manufacturer’s products over another. A trade-mark generally indicates the source of the goods and services, although it may also indicate that the goods or services meet the same standard of quality as all other goods or services associated with the mark.
Trade-mark registration is not necessary in order to use it. It is advisable, however, to conduct a trade-mark availability search to see if no one else has prior rights to the mark, before you begin using it. Assuming that no one has prior rights to the mark, your trade-mark becomes established as soon as you have begun to properly use it; and it is enforceable against infringers through the common law action for “passing off”.
However, an action for “passing off” has a number of disadvantages and limitations when compared to trade-mark infringement of a registered mark, including that it is restricted in geographical scope to only those regions where you have a reputation or recognition.
A trade-mark registration provides you with a number of considerable advantages, and it is worth considering before significant investments are made in advertising, signs, websites, letterhead and labels. Registration will also provide you with additional grounds to stop an infringer and may be key in winning a legal battle.
To proceed with a trademark application, you can email us at: email@example.com or send us your questions using the contact form on the right. We look forward to hearing from you.