(also trade mark or trade-mark
) is a recognizable sign
protected by an exclusive right due to which products or services of the persons are distinguished from similar products and/or services of other persons.
A trademark may consist
of words, figures, symbols, figurative elements (images), colours or their various combinations, etc. Recently, new types of trademarks such as luminous, musical, olfactory ones are becoming more popular.
It is interesting to note that probably one of the oldest verbal elements in the history which was used to mark products or services and which is a part many modern registered trademarks is a Latin initialism S.P.Q.R. ("The Roman Senate and People") of the Ancient Rome dated year 85 B.C.
is necessary to obtain the state-guaranteed privileges to use a trademark including the enforcement of the right to prohibit the use of such designation by third parties.
and legal entities
may be the holders
of the property rights for a trademark and a trademark may simultaneously belong to several legal entities and/or individuals.
A list of products and/or services under protection is indicated in a title of protection
which is a certificate of trademark state registration.
There are 45 classes of products and services provided by the International Classification of Goods and Services (ICGS)
covered by the protection of the registered designation is always indicated in the title of protection. It may include one or several countries.
The validity of registration
of TM in most countries is 10 years. The relevant Certificate can be renewed for an unlimited number of years if relevant state fees are paid periodically.
Warning symbols R or ® are used to identify the registered designations, whereas the symbol ™ is used to identify the designation which undergoes the registration stage.
It is important to remember
the following: it is better to invest in protection of designation before
the start of sale of goods and services than to spend significantly more in future to protect your products from unscrupulous competitors and intellectual property dealers.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
applies the registration system
when granting legal protection for the trademarks.
This means that the EUIPO examines a claimed designation only for meeting absolute criteria (application correctness, correspondence to the principles of morality and ethics, etc.)
When submitting a new application, the EUIPO also carries a preliminary automatic search and informs the trademark owners of similar applications/registrations on received applications which may affect their interests. At the same time, the main responsibility to monitor such applications as well as the right to fill the opposition is granted to the interested owners of already submitted applications/registered trademarks. In case of the opposition to register the trademark, the EUIPO provides the parties to settle a dispute through negotiations and/or qualifying examination.
The European certificate of trademark registration
is in effect on the territory of all EU member countries and has the same status as the national or international registrations.