Once you register a trademark, you establish an official record of your exclusive rights & ownership to use a particular mark. Trademarks are an integral part of any shopping experience because they build a brand connect and a sense of trust in the minds of customers. They not only attract customers, but also act as advocates of quick and reliable guides to the quality of a particular product or service.
However, trademark registrations are country specific and one application does not protect your product, service or business worldwide. Separate applications need to be filed in each country where you wish to register your trademark. Otherwise, you risk losing the opportunity to expand your brand and its operations in other countries.
With an online business, you may not necessarily know which countries your customers belong to. So whether operating worldwide or not, even if business is visible to global users, it is a good idea to get an international registration. With respect to future growth in mind, it makes little sense for a company to add to its advertising and packaging costs by trading the same products under different trademarks in different countries.
So, if you plan to market your products or services in any other country or if global expansion is part of your business plans, it is prudent to ensure that you register your trademarks in those countries as well. Time is also of the essence here in the sense that other businesses in that/those countries may beat you at trademark filing for a similar brand name.
A global trademark application streamlines the process of registering and renewing trademarks internationally and offers valuable business information about the legal status of trademarks held by competitors. The Madrid system is an international trademark registration system administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that manages trademark protection in several countries through comprehensive applications.
But how can you get a trademark registration of a company name for the global market?
Do proper research
Recognize the countries where a trademark registration will be the most beneficial to your company in terms of sizable business growth. Understand how long the process takes, it’s requirements and expected benefits of filing a trademark in that country. This process will help prioritize your applications and save time and money in focusing on the most important filings first. Familiarize yourself with the trademark rules and regulations of the countries where you are seeking registration.
Ensure Your Mark Satisfies Global Requirements
In order to register a trademark, confirm whether your application meets the respective basic requirements of distinctiveness, extrinsic novelty, and lawfulness of those particular country’s intellectual property laws as well as global IPR Laws.
Conduct a thorough trademark search
Conduct a proper trademark search in the trademark office database to ensure the name you want to trademark isn’t already protected or registered. You can do this Electronic Trademark Search Systems or speak to an intellectual property attorney for guidance. It is advisable to check not only the name you want to register but also related or similar names for existing registrations in each of the countries you require protection in.
Check translations in other countries
Carefully consider the foreign translations of your brand name, logo, product names, services or slogans and what they can mean or imply when you choose to advertise them in foreign markets. It is better to cross-check translations for possibly offensive or vulgar intonations in other languages and cultures popular in the regions you are seeking a trademark.
Hire an attorney
There are several different errors that can occur during the course of a trademark application– errors in the mark, errors in the recitation of goods and services, errors in specimens or descriptions of the mark, and errors in ownership of the mark. Getting the guidance of an intellectual property attorney will help assure a smooth process for your trademark registration. A badly filed application could lead to the risk of a rejection and delay in the process, which can become increasingly taxing for a global application running in multiple countries. Additionally, there are some countries not protected under the Madrid Agreement where it would be wise to hire an attorney when you are looking to register a trademark there.
A trademark attorney can guide you through a complete and accurate international trademark application to ensure quick approvals.
Trademarks drive business development and significantly enhance a brand’s value. Through only a few steps towards filing global trademark applications, you can ensure that the future of your brand is secured and that your business flourishes in global markets.
For companies seeking to protect important business assets abroad or looking to license or commercialize their products overseas, WIPO’s Madrid system is an easy, efficient and cost-effective business solution.
Our expert lawyers at Parker & Parker Co. LLP are well-versed with filing and prosecuting International Trade Mark and Service Mark applications under the Madrid Protocol before IPO as well as filing response to provisional refusal of International Trademark applications.
We also perform trademark searches locally and internationally and provide trademark selection advice and strategies for trademark registration in Ahmedabad, India and in over 193 other countries.