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In general, a trade mark is used to distinguish one trader's goods or services from another's. A trademark is a word, logo, symbol, design, or a combination thereof, displayed on wares or associated with services, to identify the wares or services to purchasers. The trademark generally indicates that the wares or services come from, or are approved or sponsored by, the same source as all other wares or services associated with the same trademark. A trademark may also indicate that the wares or services meet the same standard of quality as all other wares or services associated with the same trademark.

The attorneys at MACIPO & ASSOCIATES obtain clearance, evaluation, selection, and registration of trademarks, including investigation of availability of proposed marks and third party rights. Our attorneys can implement a worldwide trademark registration and maintenance program.

MACIPO & ASSOCIATES also provides counseling in areas of trademark protection and infringement in selection of enterprise and product names, and in advertising and marketing operations in all media, including internet-based communications. We can provide opinions on the legal risk of adopting a particular trademark in view of other usage.

Prior to using the mark and/or filing for protection, we recommend that a trade mark search be conducted in the competent Trade Mark Office records to determine the availability of the mark. If the search results are favorable, you should then consider filing a trade mark application for the mark.

The cost of filing corresponding foreign applications varies considerably from country to country. Foreign applications must be filed within 6 months of filing the national application if priority is claimed from the national filing date. The cost of filing in a country and/or region varies, and depends on the number of classes of goods and services for which protection is sought.

After the application is filed in the Trademarks Office, it is examined by a Trademarks Office examiner. For example, the examiner searches for potentially confusing trademarks, and assesses other potential obstacles to registration, as discussed above. If the examiner raises no objections the application is approved for publication in the Trademarks Journal. For an interval after publication the application is subject to opposition by other parties. Oppositions, which are relatively uncommon, may for example be based upon prior use of an allegedly confusing trademark. It typically takes up to a year to "prosecute" an application through the foregoing stages, assuming that there are no examiner's objections or oppositions.

After filing a trade mark application, there are normally further costs associated with guiding the application through to the registration stage, such as convincing a trade mark Examiner that the application is one for which a trade mark registration should issue. This procedure is referred to as prosecution of a trade mark application. The prosecution costs will depend on the number of objections raised by the Examiner, if any, and the difficulty encountered in overcoming these objections. Also, once a trade mark is allowed in some countries/regions there is a registration fee to be paid.

Please note that the time span between preparing and filing an application and obtaining a registration is normally at least twelve months, for example, in Canada. Before obtaining a trade mark registration, a trade mark user should identify that its mark (whether words and/or a logo) is being used as trade mark by including the symbol "TM" beside the mark. The symbol "R (circled)" should be used for registered trade marks only.


Fast Trademark Facts
  • Registering your trade mark gives you the exclusive right to use your mark for the goods and/or services.

  • If you have a registered trade mark you can put the ® symbol next to it to warn others against using it. However, using this symbol for a trade mark that is not registered is an offence.

  • A trade mark must be distinctive for the goods and services you provide. In other words it can be recognised as a sign that differentiates your goods or service as different from someone else's.

  • If you register your trade mark, it is easier to take legal action against infringement of your mark, rather than having to rely on passing off.

"References For All Your Intellectual Property Needs"

Smart Patent, Trademark & Copyright
Volume 10, Issue 02

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