A trade mark can be anything from a name, design, phrase, design or symbol that is used in the commerce to link a certain idea to a certain product. The trade mark can also be a combination of the elements mentions above. It also helps the customer to distinguish among goods of different suppliers and manufacturers.
A trade mark is used in order to claim the property of a certain service or product. This trade mark is usually widely known by the costumers. They associate the trade mark specifically with the certain range of products or services.
There are also risks involved when registering a trade mark. These risks are minimal and can easily be eliminated. Some of these risks are that the trade mark can cause legal issues. This includes actions such as making themselves guilty of false advertising or that the trade mark is offensive.
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the licensing of a product versus the trade marking of a product. A trade mark can be owned, but it can also be licensed. When a product is licensed, the owner of the trade mark allows the licensee to do business with one of their trade marked goods. Many toy suppliers are known to be licensees. That allows them to sell, for example Smurf figurines that are owned by Bullyland.
Like we all know, there is always the chance of legal activities that can take place. In the event that someone uses a trade mark, unauthorized it is called brand piracy. This can also be done when unauthorized producing and trading of counterfeit consumer goods takes place.
When the owner of a trade mark found that his trade mark is being used without his/her consent, legal action may be perused. This is called trade mark infringement. In most instances, it is necessary to have a registered tradem ark, but in some instances an unregistered trade mark case can also be established. In essence, an unregistered trade mark offers less legal protection than a registered trade mark.
Meaning of different symbols:
™ – This is the symbol that is used to indicate an unregistered trade mark. This symbol is commonly used to promote or brand goods.
℠ – This symbol gives indication of an unregistered service mark. This mark is mostly used to promote or brand a service as well.
® – This symbol indicates a registered trade mark. It can be used by any person that has registered their trade mark.
Reasons to Trade Mark
When you register a trade mark, it can serve as a way in which you can protect your product or service from being copied and counterfeit.
Another reason is that when a product is trade marked, the customer will be assured that the products they are buying are up to standard and of good quality. They will also then be able to identify when a product is counterfeit and knowing that if they buy that product, they will get a product of less value.
A trade mark will also ensure that your business is well enough protected against competition. Like mentioned earlier, the trade mark will secure your product against the competition. They will then not be able to copy your product or service. In the event that they do copy your product or service, they stand to face legal action. For that reason, trade marking your product or service will build a barrier around your brand, making it harder for other businesses to compete with you.
Registering a trade mark might seem like a waste of time and extra money, but the matter of fact is that it will only do your business good. Securing your brand will disable other competitors to copy you and your business will be able to bloom.
Our law department registers Trade Marks ( also known as a Trade mark ) for our clients all over South Africa and internationally.