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What is Trademark?

A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name. A registered trademark is a legal right granted by the government. It gives the owner a statutory monopoly for the exclusive right to use the mark in relation to the goods or services for which the mark is registered.

What is service mark?

A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services. Example of services includes hotels, insurance, graphic design, training center, advertising, banking and so on.

Are all trademark registrable?

NO, if the trademark consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute; or a geographical indication. In general, marks which other traders would legitimately want to use to describe their goods or services are not registrable. For example the mark should not be descriptive of the goods, it must be “distinctive”, like “Excellent”, “Top 1 Brand” and “Best in World” should not form up as a trademark.

Differences between Trademark, Industrial Design, Patent and Copyright.

Trademark provides an exclusive right to use a distinctive mark to indicate the source of goods and/or services. Industrial design refers to features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by any industrial process or means, being features which in the finished article appeal to and are judged by the eye. Patent generally protects invention and new technologies. Copyright protects creative output such as literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works.

Is it necessary to conduct a trademark search?

Before filing a trademark application, it is advisable conducting a search at Registrar Office to ensure that there are no marks identical to, or closely resembling your mark, filed or registered by others for similar goods or services. After the search report had done the trademark agent who will be able to advice on the availability and registrability of the mark.

Who can Register a trademark?

The application for registration of a trademark must be filed in the name of the trademark owner; usually a company, individual, partnership or organization associations etc.k.

What is the difference between TM, SM and “R”?

TM is used to indicate a trademark, and SM to indicate a servicemark. When a mark is registered, it turns into “R”, the symbol used to indicate a registered trade or servicemark.

Can I use the “R” symbol before my mark is registered?

No, it is illegal in Malaysia (and most other countries) to use the registered trademark symbol “R”, unless you have received your certificate of registration.

If my trademark is registered in one country, is it protected worldwide?

No, you need to register your trademark in every country that you wish to seek IP protection. However, a Malaysian application can be used as a basis for claiming priority in countries which are parties to the Paris Convention and WTO. The registration process and fees vary from one country to another.

How long does the application process take?

This varies depending on Country and which Classes you are registering your trademark. In general, the entire process takes between 13-18 months. However, if there are any objections or complications, the time taken may be longer.

Once registered, how long does my trademark last?

Your trademark will be valid for 10 years from the date of application. After that time, you may renew your trademark for a further 10 year period, at a time.

What can a registered trademark agent do for you?

Registered trademark agents possess skill and knowledge in all phases of trademark prosecution and registration. They can advise on the registrability of your mark, conduct pre-filing searches, filing trademark application, handle any objections raised by the Trademark Registrar and trademark opposition during process of publication.

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