The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union
Legally speaking, a trade mark is a sign which serves to distinguish the goods and services of one organisation from those of another.
Trade marks are words, logos, devices or other distinctive features which can be represented graphically. They can consist of, for example, the shape of goods, their packaging, sounds and smells.
Why register your trade mark?
A trade mark has three essential functions:
A trade mark can become one of the most important assets of a company.
Trade mark registration is one of the strongest ways to defend a brand; a way to ensure that no one else uses it. If you do not register your trade mark, others may do so and acquire your rights to distinguish their goods and services.
Trade marks influence consumer decisions every day. A strong trade mark creates an identity, builds trust, distinguishes you from the competition, and makes communication between seller and buyer simpler. Because so much money and time is often invested in a trade mark, it is worth paying something to protect it from misuse.
What is a good or a service?
In law, a good is any kind of item which may be traded. A service is the provision of activities in accordance with human demands.
What is the difference between a trade mark and other industrial property rights such as patents and designs?
All industrial property rights are intended to protect the creativity of businesses and individuals. However, they do not cover the same aspects.
A trade mark identifies the origin of goods and services of one undertaking so as to differentiate them from those of its competitors.
A design covers the appearance of a product. A design cannot protect the function of a product.
A patent covers the function, operation or construction of an invention. To be patentable, a function must be innovative, have an industrial application and be described in such a way as to permit reproduction of the process.