Trade mark is a sign which distinguishes the goods and services of one trader from those of another. A mark includes a device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral or any combination of these.
Functions of Trade Mark
- Origin – A trade mark helps to identify the source and those linked for the products and services trade in the market.
- Choice – A trade mark assists consumers to choose goods and services with ease.
- Quality – Consumers define a certain trade mark for its known quality.
- Marketing – Trade mark play a significant role in promoting. It’s common for consumers to make purchases based on continuous effect of advertising.
- Economic – Recognized trade mark is a valuable asset. Trade marks may be licensed or franchised.
Importance of Trade Mark Registration
Intellectual Proprietary privileges in relation to a trade mark may be established through actual use in the marketplace and registration provides for:
- Exclusive Rights – Registered trade marks owners have exclusive right to use their marks in trading. They also have the rights to take legal action for infringement under the Trade Mark Law against others who use their marks without consent. They can either take civil action or lodge complaints to Enforcement Division for appropriate actions under the Trade Description Act 1972.
- Legal Evidence – Registration certificate issued by Registrar Office is a prima facie evidence of trade mark ownership. A certificate of registration serves as an important document to establish the ownership of goods exported to other countries.
Non-Registrable Trade Mark
- Prohibited Marks
If the use of which is likely to confuse or deceive the public or contrary to law.
- Scandalous or Offensive Matter
If it contains or comprises any scandalous or offensive matter or would not otherwise be entitled to protection in any court of law.
- Prejudicial to the Interest or Security of the Nation
Registrar bears the responsibility of determining the trade mark, whether it might be prejudicial to the interest or security of the nation. It may be that a mark contains an inflammatory statement or words.
Duration of Registration
Trade mark registration is valid for ten years from the date of application and may be renewed every ten years.