What is a trade mark?
The concept of trade mark is often associated with the notion of “brand” and corporate image. While technically there can be differences between them all, a trade mark usually is a registrable sign, composed by any or all of the graphical, literal and numeral elements, to identify one trader from another. In contrast, if a sign fails to achieve this function, it may not qualify as a trade mark.
Does one local registration enable “global” protection?
It is not surprising to hear this idea: a one-stop registration, with a low set of fees, can grant protection across the globe. Unfortunately, using whatever route of filing, if a mark is applied in one jurisdiction; under normal circumstances, when protection is granted, it will only be limited over there. If “global” protection is sought after, probably the applicant will have to settle application fees for each jurisdiction.
Can I register a trade mark and bar others from using it with whatever business?
First, when an application is submitted, the applicant must specify the protection scope. Filing fees are associated with how diverse the scope is. The wider the protection scope is specified, the wider the protection will be. However, if the protection scope of a mark of prior rights is found to be irrelevant to that of another later mark, it is possible that the prior rights owner cannot affect the use of the latter mark.
NICE Classification is an international system common to most jurisdictions in the world. With a total number of 45 Classes, it generally categorizes different protection scope. The Classification is open to public inspection through this link (insert hyperlink: http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/nclpub/en/fr/), but it is generally advised to provide information to our consultants for free analysis of your business scope.
I know where to file and the scope of protection now. What are the fees?
“Transparency” from our firm’s motto is the best term to describe our pricing. Price quoted in our online fee schedule are all-in fees inclusive of governmental fees, our service and disbursement charges and registration fees. If the case is smooth, you do not have to pay an extra penny apart from our quoted fees. The schedule can be viewed here (insert hyperlink: use HK for HK site; SG for SG site). As some jurisdictions offer slightly lower official fees, we also list out the costs for the additional Class after the first. Please do not hesitate to contact our consultants for a formal quotation without any service charges.
Before u Apply
When the official receive your application, their examiner will check it and decide whether they need to object to your trade mark based on the criteria laid down in the Trade Marks Ordinance. Therefore there are a number of factors which you must consider before applying to register a trade mark. Listed below are some important points:
Is it distinctive?
Does your trade mark stand out from the crowd? Does your trade mark, be it a logo, word, picture, etc. clearly set your goods and services apart from those of other traders? Examiner will object to the mark if they do not think it does.
Is it a description of your goods and services?
If your trade mark describes the goods and services or shows the quality, purpose, quantity or value of them, then examiner is likely to object to the mark. Similarly we are likely to object to the use of geographical name in a mark.
Is it a well-known term in your line of business?
If your trade mark is a well known term or representation in your line of business examiner would object to it. For example “V8” for vehicle engines.
Other people’s trademarks
Has someone else already registered or applied to register the same or similar trade mark for the same or similar goods and services? If your trade mark looks or sounds the same or similar to another registered mark, or one that is being applied for, examiner will object to your mark.
It is important to conduct a search of the trade mark register to see if your trade mark is already registered or has been applied for by another trader.