What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a symbol which allows us to identify a company’s specific product or service, making in stand out in the market. In order for a trademark to become exclusive, i.e., for no one else to use the image or name, it is necessary to register it.
Types of Trademarks
Trademarks can appear in many different forms:
Verbal trademark: Composed of only verbal elements, namely words, including the names of people, letters or numbers.
Pictorial trademark: Composed of only pictorial elements, such as drawings, images or figures.
Mixed trademark: Composed of verbal and pictorial elements.
Composed of sounds.
Three-dimensional trademark: Composed of the shape of the product or respective packaging.
Slogan trademark: Composed of advertising slogans, regardless of any Copyright protection they may have.
What are the advantages of registering a trademark?
Registration is not compulsory. However, it is highly recommended, given the multiple benefits that it offers:
• It allows you to make the most of the financial and intellectual investment used in the conception of new trademarks;
• It confers an exclusive right which prevents third parties from producing, manufacturing, selling or economically exploiting the registered trademark without the owner’s consent.
Attention! Ownership and exclusive rights over trademarks are acquired only through registration, not through mere use in the marketplace.
• It prevents others from registering a similar or identical sign for identical products and services or others;
• It allows the holder of the registration to label their signs as “registered trademark”, “TM” or ® in order to dissuade potential violations.
Attention! The use of these symbols by someone who has not successfully obtained registration for their trademark is prohibited, and is considered an illegal act. However, an applicant for a trademark can indicate its pending status if he/she intends to use the trademark in any way while awaiting a decision on registration.
• It guarantees the option to transfer the registration or to grant licences to third parties to exploit the trademark, for free or for a fee.
Types of Registration
The registration of a national trademark confers on the holder the exclusive right to use it all over national territory.
The registration of a community trademark confers on the holder the exclusive right to use it all over the territory of the 27 state members of the European Union with the filing of a single application and the payment of a single fee.
Once it has been registered in the European Union, the trademark must be renovated every 10 years to continue active.
The registration of an international trademark confers on the holder the exclusive right to use it all over the territory of the countries mentioned in the respective registration with the filing of a single application and the payment of a single fee.
Once it has been registered in the WIPO, the trademark must be renovated every 10 years to continue active.
Who has the right to register a Trademark?
The right to register a trademark belongs to those who have a legitimate interest in doing so, namely:
– Industrialists and manufacturers, to signal the products they have produced;
– Retailers, to signal the products they sell;
– Farmers and producers, to signal the products which result from their activity;
– Creators and craftsmen, to signal the products of their art, craft or profession;
– Those who provide services, to signal the respective activity.
Belo Digital provides support throughout the process of trademark registration with the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). Contact us.