(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 international trademarks are registered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
. There are two documents – the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol – which unite 98 countries worldwide (as of January 2017).
An international application shall be submitted through the national authority of the member country of the Madrid System where an applicant resides. When submitting the application, a single international fee shall be paid depending on the number of selected countries.
The International Bureau of WIPO examines a claimed designation only for meeting absolute criteria (application correctness, correspondence to the principles of morality and ethics, etc.) Based on the results of the examination, the Certificate is issued which de facto has the status of the priority document.
Further, the International application shall be examined by every national authority selected by the applicant for meeting provisions of the local legislation. Based on the results of the examination by the International Bureau of WIPO, an applicant receives a notice on trademark registration or a provisional refusal to register the trademark.
A provisional refusal of the trademark registration may be full or partial and may be contested in the relevant authority, usually by engaging a national patent attorney.
An international registration can be renewed by submitting a request for the renewal to the International Bureau of WIPO and after paying the due fee.