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BRAND & LEGAL PROTECTION

For exclusive rights to aBrandyou must take into account certain rules drawn up by the legislator and the judiciary. These rules together form ittrademark law.

 

In this blog post, Mr. Franklin to whichcharacteristicsa sign must comply tosigned upto be entered in the trademark register.

Why is brand qualification important?

 

As soon as a sign has all the characteristics of a valid trademark, you can apply for ittrademark registrationSubmit. A successful trademark registration confers on the proprietorexclusive rightson the registered trademark.

If you are the holder of a trademark right, you can take action against any third party who uses your protected trademark if this could cause confusion or harm your trademark.

It is therefore in your interest that the sign you choose contains all the characteristics of a valid trademark.

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Brand vs. trade name

 

The purpose of oneBrandis the one offered by a particular companyproducts or services to distinguish. Atrade nameon the other hand, the company distinguishes itself.

Unlike the right to a trademark, which requires formal registration, the right to a particular trade name is obtained by registering itmere useof it. The protection enjoyed by such a commercial name does not extend over the entire area of one or more countries, but is only offered locally. 

Conditions for a valid trademark

 

Absolute grounds investigation

 

There are also so-calledabsolute groundsfor refusal to register a trademark. All trademarks that are submitted for registration are tested against this. If the sign you have deposited does not pass the test of these absolute grounds for refusal, it will not be protected. A company would therefore do well to carry out a thorough check before submitting a trademark.

mr. Franklin is happy to check whether the sign you have suggested is theabsolute groundstest and is also legally sufficient on the basis of other rules to obtain trademark protection. If necessary, we will look together at the possible alternatives. This way you can make a well-considered choice of the right sign, and then proceed to successful registration.

 

Seeanother comprehensive blog postfrom mr. Franklin for more information about trademark law and our services related to the registration of your trademark.

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Distinctiveness

 

A trademark must be able to ensure that the consumer can identify the products or services of a particular companyto separateof what the other producers put on the market. The public must know the brandassociate with the company.

A brand acquires its distinctive character partly because the producer presents that brand to the publicused. The public must be able to use this specific mark because of the distinctive character of the signassociate with products or servicesthat your company trades.

How an average consumer perceives your brand is therefore of particular importance. You should not lose sight of that marknot merely a descriptive charactermay have. That is, brands cannot simply describe the products for sale. If this is the case, your application for trademark registration will be refused.

Admissibility

 

A brand must toopermissibleare. From a legal point of view, this means that the sign used by your company may not be contrary to public order or good morals. For example, signs based on racist expressions can never be used as a trademark. Misleading signs are also not allowed.

Certain signs can never be allowed as a trademark, for example:

  • Signs that are contrary to public order or good morals

  • Signs consisting of coats of arms, flags, state emblems or emblems of international organizations

  • Signs consisting of geographical indications or protected designations of origin

  • Signs containing traditional terms of protected wines

  • Signs containing protected traditional specialties

Clear display

 

The sign that one wants to register as a trademark mustclearlyandaccuratecan be displayed. However, that does not mean that the sign must always be represented graphically: a specific sound can, for example, also be a trademark.

Classification: the choice of certain products or services

 

At the same time, a brand has tolinkedto a description of products or services that your company will market with this mark. The protection of a registered sign therefore only applies to the chosen products and/or services.

Please note: the legislation does not offer the possibility to add additional products or services to the trademark after registration of your trademark. When you indicate the goods or services for which you use the mark, this choice isonce and definitively. This classification is therefore best prepared thoroughly in advance so that you canscope of protectionof your brand.

mr. Franklin is happy to provide you with legal assistance if you have doubts about the validity of your (possible) trademark. Using ourexpertiseand experience, the registration of your trademark will be successful.

If, after the risk analysis carried out by us, you choose to use another sign as a trademark, Mr. Franklin youlegal guidancethrough the possible rebranding.

Availability of the sign

 

Finally, it must also be checked whether or not the sign you have chosen has been taken over by another trademark holder. In addition, we as Mr. Franklin onenovelty searchfrom. This is necessary to check the availability of the brand you have chosen.

We screen the trademark register for a similar trademark that is already registered. An identical or similar trademark can cause potential discussions. We make this onerisk analysisso that you can assess the potential difficulties.

Need a legal expert trademark law?

 

mr. Franklin is a law firm with special expertise in thetrademark law. We offer fast and efficient service, with a personal approach that is central. We also ensure transparency with regard to the costs of our services. Where possible, we work with fixed rates, so that there are no surprises. You can find more information about trademark agencies hereherefind.

mr. Franklin is happy to help you with registration, follow-up and defense of your trademark. Feel free to contact our experts so that we can advise you on the legal protection of your trademark.

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Types of brands

 

Individual brands

An individual brand belongs to one particular company. This mark must distinguish the products or services from that company from other products or services on the market.

Collective brands

 

Aassociation of several companiescan jointly apply for a trademark. This characterizes the goods and/or services offered by all members of this association.

Not all associations of companies can become the proprietors of a trademark. The members of that association must have a specific,activity determined by lawperform. See thewebsite of the Office for Intellectual Propertyof the European Union for numerous examples of collective marks.

Certification Marks

 

A certification mark cannot be applied for just any good or service. Such a brand distinguishescertified goodsof the other products available on the market. The holder of a certification mark independently assesses whether certain products meet the necessary requirements for them to be certified. Consider, for example, the Keurslager: this brand entails certain quality requirements.

Certification marks can not only be linked to the quality of the product, but also, for example, to environmental or animal friendliness.

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Practical examples

 

Below is a brief overview of the most common types of trademarks in practice

word mark

 

This is a brand that is only out of flattextexists, without any visual element. This can be a single word, a combination of words, and so on.View examples hereof brands consisting of one word.

Logo

 

Unlike the word mark, a figurative mark containsgraphic elements(e.g. an image). It's about asignwith which your products and services are associated. This can be a logo, for example, but also words with visual elements or a special font.

Shape mark / 3D mark

 

Trademark registration can also be applied for for a sign that consists exclusively of theshape of a productor theshape of the packagingof it. Be a good examplethese famous bottlesfrom Coca Cola.

Position mark

 

A position mark consists of the specific way in which the mark is placed on the productplaced or installed. Consider, for example, the placement of a graphic sign on the side of a sports shoe.

Pattern brand

 

A trademark can also consist of aset of ingredientsthat repeat regularly. Seethis government websitefor a good example.

Color mark

 

A single color mark consists ofa colour; trademark registration of a combination of colors is also possible.​

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