A short summary from a presentation on trademarking
Trademark protection is an interesting topic and it is even more interesting for me since I am a logo designer who cares. On the 26th June 2018 there was a very informative presentation on the given topic organised by Drivhuset Malmö.
What is actually a trademark? A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services of one party from those of others.
A trademark does not mean that no one else can use the trademarked word, phrase or symbol at all. It means “only” that somebody else is not allowed to use a similar trademark with similar goods or services.
As a good example of two different trademarks with a same name is Abba. One trademark is dedicated to the Swedish pop-group Abba and the other one is possessed by a food-producing company Abba.
Trademark and registration
The registration of a trademark lasts 10 years and can be prolonged after this period. There is a need to confirm the usage of the particular trademark between years five and six.
The interesting thing about trademarking I wasn’t aware of is that you can even trademark colours and smells.
There are 34 trademark classifications for goods and 11 for services and you need to choose which categories are relevant for you (and of course you need to pay for every single class to be trademarked in).
Why it is good to register your trademark
Trademarks are an effective communication tool. In a single brand or logo, trademarks can convey intellectual and emotional attributes and messages about you, your company, and your company’s reputation, products and services.
- exclusive rights
- increased value
- easier access to capital (especially for start-ups. It is more likely that someone is willing to invest money into a trademarked service or product rather than into a non-trademarked one).
There is always a risk that a certain trademark can become somewhat descriptive of the relevant goods and may be in danger of becoming generic such as Google (Google has become a word for “look something up on the internet”).
That is a short summary of what I have learnt about trademarks. I would love to see your comments, thoughts and ideas on this topic in the comment section below.
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