Some international trademarks regimes give “non-traditional” trademarks protection. This category contains characters that differ from everyday ideas such as (i) colors, (ii) movements, (iii) sounds, (iv) smells, and (v) holograms (vi) words, patterns, logographs, or combination of letters. Although non-traditional trademarks exist worldwide, they are not registered in all countries.
A trademark means that the goods or services of one company are distinguishable from the goods or services of another.
In general, many trademark categories can be distinguished:
- Trademarks consist only of words, letters, numbers, and other standard characters;
- Figurative marks are entirely made of figurative components;
- Figurative markings including word elements are symbols combining verbal and figurative elements;
- Markers of the form including word elements are marks of form comprising verbal elements;
- Location marks protect the particular manner of placing or attaching the mark to the product.
Why should your trademark be protected?
The trademark registration offers several benefits to its owner. Trademarks are assets that may be purchased, traded, and licensed, first of all. Through licensing, franchising, and other contractual arrangements growing production and marketing overseas, trademark protection provides firms with an opportunity to access new markets. It also enables co-branding and sponsoring arrangements to be established (through which the owner may expand his firm and improve his market strength). In this context, the firms’ investment in their intellectual property(IP) is strategically important.
Check availability of trademarks.
It is strongly suggested that searches be undertaken before applying for a trademark to determine whether identical or similar marks are already registered in the market of interest.
This is important if refusals from IP offices of the nations where protection is requested are to be prevented. In addition, searches before availability are essential for reducing and avoiding litigation expenses of conflict with pre-rights third-party owners (administrative opposition procedures or judicial actions).
How to handle the Madrid system for your brand portfolio
The ‘Madrid international trademark registration system’ is an economical option for the worldwide registration of trademarks. Two treaties control it:
- The protocol about the Madrid Agreement, which was concluded in 1989, made the Madrid system more flexible and compatible with the domestic legislation of a particular country or intergovernmental organizations, who have been unable to enter into the Madrid Agreement.
- Concluded in 1891, updated in Brussels (1900), Washington (1911), The Hague (1925), London (1934), Nice(1957), and Stocksholm (1967) and modified in 1979, the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Mark Registration;
The WIPO International Bureau handles the system. Through the submission of one application and the establishment of a global registration in each of the specified contracting parties, it enables trade-trade holders to preserve their marks in multiple countries. The Madrid system also permits the creation of subsequent designations and additional territories to an already issued international registration.
The significant benefits of the system in Madrid are the centralized filing. By paying one fee (in francs) rather than filing different applications in each country where protection is sought, a single request can be submitted to WIPO in one language (French, English, or Spanish) by national procedures.