In today’s era of modernisation, both intellectual property rights (IPR) and competition law are crucially relevant. It is often said that IPR and competition law are contrary to each other however this might not be the reality as the primary aim of both IPR and competition law is the accumulation of wealth. Patent pools can be understood as “the agreement between two or more patent owners to licence one or more of their patents to one another or the third party.”Continue reading
In the present climate, it is critical to safeguard a company’s intellectual property. Intellectual property encompasses the human mind’s creative intangible concepts. The different forms of intellectual property are copyrights, trademarks, patents, geographical indication tags, etc. Intellectual property rights hold great importance for business enterprises.Continue reading
Trademark and service mark are two different kinds of intellectual properties. Most Businesses use a unique identification that makes them stand out. These identifications are known as trademark or service marks.Continue reading
The portion of the Indian constitution dealing with startups and intellectual property law (IPR) has always been embarrassingly thin. This appears to be an attempt to fill the hole in India’s intellectual property regime. The legislators made it a point to revise existing intellectual property legislation in cooperation with stakeholders. All of this was accomplished as part of the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ programmes.Continue reading
Contemporary Art is still seen as a luxury in the era of the digital world. In 2018, the global art market was worth 67 billion US Dollars. This same market was 64 billion dollars in 2017, which indicates an increase in the valuation. With the increase in the valuation, it has been seen that more and more people are taking up jobs in the field of contemporary art. Contemporary art has also helped people to express their views and opinions through paintings et cetera. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) have helped in safeguarding the interests of the artists who took the pain to create art through their imagination and efforts. With the diversification of art forms and increase in competition, the artists need to have complete ownership rights over their work.Continue reading
Geographical Indication or GI Tags is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) given to a product that belongs to a specific location and holds the quality which is intrinsic or reputable due to its location. However, with regards to the example of Rosgulla, later it was asserted by a committee formed by the government of Odisha that Rasgulla has its origin in Odisha where it was offered at Jagannath Temple in Puri.Continue reading
For famous and established people, their name or any symbol identifying them would be enough to recognize their entire identity. That is what happens to a brand when it gets popularized and gains goodwill among people. Their singular name or symbol attracts the audience, customers and admirers. Therefore, drafting a trademark becomes an essential part of their business.Continue reading
Protecting one’s Brand becomes extremely critical for companies in today’s digital world. Small and medium-sized businesses often tend to ignore this aspect which leads to a plethora of complications. It is essential to understand that an effective brand protection strategy isn’t needed only for large companies with well-established brands, but also to just about every business. Especially during the times of the Covid-19 pandemic where businesses are carried out online more often than not, it becomes all the more crucial to employ brand protection strategies.Continue reading
Trademarks and service marks are two different kinds of intellectual properties. Most Businesses use a unique identification that makes them stand out. These identifications are known as a trademark or a service mark.
WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?
A Trademark is a word, name, symbol, sound, or device, or any combination which is used and intends to identify and distinguish goods/products of a company with those of others. Trademarks are usually used by businesses who are involved with a variety of products to make their products standout and have a unique identification so that people can identify such products as being made by them.
Some famous examples of Trademark are:
- Coco Chanel is a perfect example of a name that is a trademark.
- The McDonald’s golden arch is a classic example of a symbol trademark.
- The Microsoft Windows startup sound.
WHAT IS A SERVICE MARK?
A Service mark on the other hand identifies a name, logo, device or combination thereof that identifies the services of a business. It works the same way as a trademark.It distinguishes the services a company provides with that of others. It represents the type of service a company Provides.
Some Examples of Service Marks are:
- The term “visa” is considered as a service mark as it identifies the Visa card services.
- FedEx, a registered courier delivery service provider is also termed as a service mark.
- Walmart is also a service mark which provides retail business services.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REGISTERING FOR A TRADEMARK OR SERVICE MARK?
Registering for trademarks or service marks prevents other businesses from using a business’s company, product, and service names, brand slogan, logos and other distinguishing brand designs in any way possible.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRADEMARK AND SERVICE MARK
A trademark represents a product produced by a business while a service mark represents a service offered by the business.A single business can register for both of them to brand themselves.
The difference between a service mark and a trademark seems pretty straightforward, but the two options do lead to some confusion for business owners. If you offer both goods and services, you may not know which to use. Many businesses that provide services and goods use both trademarks and service marks.
WHY IS TRADEMARK OR SERVICE MARK IMPORTANT?
While building a brand, it’s important to differentiate yourself from your competition. Registering for a trademark/service mark depending upon the type of company one own prevents another company to use one’s company name or logo and also prevents confusion with customers with whom they’re doing business.It also creates a unique identity and provides a company a name with which it can be known.
The line between a trademark and a service mark is often so thin that many companies simply end up having both. For example, Google lists its brand as both a trademark and a service mark. Thus, in order to protect a company’s brand name one must register for a trademark/service mark in order to keep its identity distinct and unique from that of others.
By Karan Shukla, Flywork.io Team, Flywork.io.
How does the concept of trademark works internationally? This is one question that many of the businessmen having businesses in more than one country asks. Read on to find out more.
What is a trademark?
The Cornell University defines Trademark as
“A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from those of another and to indicate the source of the goods.”
Trademark is a symbol, often bearing distinctive imagery and quality, which denotes a business or company, as it’s legal mark. This imagery could be in the form or as a mix of images, texts, numbers, colours; the point being it’s distinctiveness. Use of trademarks can be dated back to the times of the Indus Valley Civilization, where traders used ‘terracotta seals’ to mark their products, so as to make it easy for them to differentiate between each others’ goods. The trademark found it’s way to the world with the vast extent of merchant navy in the early 18th century 1 and was slowly embossed within the colonies.
The opening up of International Markets and the liberalisation of International Trade made it all the more important to register a trademark internationally. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPTO), more than 4 million new trademarks2 are registered all around the world, every year. Emerging markets such as India and China contribute to over 50 percent of them. A large number of trademarks present internationally makes it very difficult for an enterprise to enquire about every single trademark infringement. It is impossible to single out an infringement, especially if the country is not native to the owners of the trademark or if the trademark is not very widely known.
Every single infringement of a trademark, however minute it may be, is a direct attack on a brand’s goodwill and it’s market presence. Even if the brand can not single out every trademark infringement, it can still stamp it’s legal authority by getting a trademark registered. A registered trademark becomes legally binding and thus serves as a caveat, deterring it’s misuse and/or infringement.
International Trademark and WIPTO
The World Intellectual Property Organisation is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It was formed so as to provide for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights across the World. It was under the umbrella of the WIPTO that the Madrid Protocol was formulated in 1989.
The Madrid Protocol3 formulated the process of obtaining a Trademark in over 90 countries, at once. The system makes it possible to protect a mark in a large number of countries by obtaining an international registration that has effect in each of the designated Contracting Parties. The Madrid system is a convenient and hands-on solution for registering trademarks worldwide. The applicant can just file a single set of application and get the mark registered in upto 124 states around the world. It makes it convenient to modify, expand or renew a global trademark portfolio through a single centralized system4.
Ways to register a trademark globally
• Single individual registration method
The applicant for the trademark must visit the registration offices, either by himself or through an attorney, in all the states, he wishes to register his trademark. This is usually done by big brands, who have a lot of presence of teams for the same purpose and cannot afford to lose brand identity. The process is usually the same in all countries. It usually includes an application to the registrar or notary, getting a mark approved and the payment of registration charges.
• Madrid System
The Madrid system is an international solution for the registration and management of trademarks worldwide. Under this system, the applicants can submit a single application to protect their mark in the states who have ratified the Madrid Agreement, (currently 113 in number). The applicant can apply for international trademark protection by filing an MM2 form, readily available on WIPO website5. After the due process, the applicant has to submit a copy of the same to their local Registrar/Notary. There is a processing fee for registering a trademark with the WIPO, but it’s considerably less than filing individual applications within each country.
Legal Protection after registration
A trademark registration –
1. Provides Prima facie evidence of ownership and validity
2. Provides Legal protection in a country
3. Deters others from using the same or almost same mark
4. Provides Legal grounds for a suit of infringement of trademark to be brought in case of a dispute
5. Is a caveat against misuse or defamation of a brand name or trademark
1. 18th century marked the start of merchant relations between the West and the East and started a trade war between many European Nations.
2. 52 thousand of these new trademarks are registered under the WIPO
3. The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks is governed by the Madrid Agreement, concluded in 1891.
4. Sometimes contracting states refuse to register the mark under the Madrid System.