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There are a number of things to consider when seeking to register and protect your brands, says Lara Haidar from The Rights Lawyers.
October 22, 2009 2:29 by Lara Haidar
Which goods and services?
The way trademarks work around the world including the Middle East is that every Trade Marks Registry is split down into 42 or 45 different classes, which list every type of product or service imaginable. Whatever business you are in will fall into one or other of the classes. But remember you will not get protection for everything simply by submitting an application. You need to be very specific about what the protection is for. That’s why there are different companies using what looks like the same mark but for different goods or services – POLO is a car, a fashion brand and a candy.
Looking after brands
Remember that brands are assets that need to be looked after just as you would look after a car, so use them properly:
- Always use your brand exactly as it is registered to build recognition and goodwill.
- Always use your brand as an adjective and never as a noun, i.e., talk about a Rolls-Royce car rather than a Rolls-Royce.
- Ensure your brand stands out from other written material in order to give emphasis to the trade mark.
- Enforce your brands. If you encounter a third party infringing on them, take immediate action.
Enforcing your brands
Whether the problem is a third party using a similar or identical brand on an identical product/service or whether you are facing counterfeiting problems, enforcing your rights in your brand is essential. Having said that, the decision of exactly how critical is the requirement to undertake counteractive action or undertake anti-counterfeiting work comes down to a benefits analysis. So, is it having or could it have a negative financial impact on your business in the concerned or a related territory?