A truly successful entrepreneur will have much knowledge about various spheres of the business world. One such sphere which is sometimes overlooked but is extremely important relates to trademarks.
Trademarks can be defined as symbols, names, words, or anything else which legally represent a specific brand, product, or company. They are an important form of intellectual property and therefore protect the rights of business owners. Owning a trademark provides many benefits for businesses and entrepreneurs alike.
Entrepreneurs interested in obtaining a trademark should be aware of several points. These points will be covered in the following paragraphs:
- Consumer and Business Protection
Some might be unsure if trademarks protect consumers or businesses. The answer is “both”. Trademarks protect consumers because when consumers purchase an item or service which contains a specific trademark, consumers should be able to depend on that trademark as a signifier of the product or service’s origin. Trademarks assure consumers of authenticity and credibility.
Trademarks also protect businesses. After a business obtains trademark rights, it can deny other businesses the rights to not only use that same trademark, but also any other deemed to be too similar. Such trademarks cause customers to become confused and adversely affect the finances and reputation of the business involved.
- Access to Trademark Rights
Only the first person or business applying for a trademark in a specific country or territory may claim trademark rights there. These rights are known as “common law” trademark rights. Anyone who wishes to receive trademark rights must therefore either be the first to use it or obtain official trademark registration from the authorities. This is why it’s advisable to register a trademark as soon as possible. By consulting EXY Intellectual Property, this can easily be done.
Trademark rights are specific to particular products and services; they do not overlap. Anyone who obtains trademark rights is permitted to maintain them for as long as the trademark is used for business purposes. From time to time, trademark registrations may have to be renewed.
As has been mentioned, all trademarks are specific to a certain country or territory. This means that if you’d like to expand your trademarked business abroad, you’ll have to register that same trademark in that country as well. Sometimes, your trademark might already be taken abroad; if so, you’ll have to market using a different trademark after you expand to that country.
When planning expansion abroad, it’s also crucial to understand the other country’s trademark laws. By doing so, you will avoid violating those laws, committing intellectual property rights infringements, and avoid legal problems and potential punishment. Once again, you are advised to register for your trademark abroad as soon as possible. Do bear in mind that how to register a trademark in Malaysia differs from how to do so elsewhere.
Loss of Trademark Rights
Negligent entrepreneurs might sometimes inadvertently lose their trademark rights. There are three ways that this might occur: through uncontrolled licensing, by using the trademark in an improper manner, or by not enforcing trademark rights against third parties.
Uncontrolled licensing refers to the failure to exercise control over third parties who use your trademark or to require third parties to enter into trademark license agreements for trademark use. To use a trademark properly, all business owners who have a trademark are legally required to use it consistently and continuously to represent the products sold or services provided. They are also required to enforce their trademark rights which use the same or similar trademark for the same or similar products. Any of these may lead to loss of trademark rights under Malaysia’s intellectual property laws.
All you have to do now is keep these principles in mind as you select your trademark. We’re confident that if you apply them, your trademark will be not just suitable, but truly spectacular. Get the trademark of your dreams and let people flock to your business today!
You may seek for Exy Intellectual Property to redeem your exclusive consultation session. Protect your business by registering trademark today.
This article is brought to you by Exy Intellectual Property (Malaysia)