If you don’t register your trademark, someone else probably will.
Every business owner faces this problem at some point.
You’ve finally registered your business. You’re gaining some headway.
You have a beautiful company logo and it represents your company well.
What do you do now?
Do you register your logo? Or do you leave it as it is?
Well, chances are that if you’ve figured out your logo works for you – someone else will too.
And if you don’t claim it – someone else probably will.
But before we get ahead of ourselves; first thing’s first,
Well, a trademark is a sign that’s used to distinguish your business from everyone else.
This is mostly done by trademarking your company logo or signature. Most companies have more than one trademark.
For example, Nike has trademarked it’s name, slogan and logo.
When you register a trademark, only you will be able to use it.
No one else will legally be allowed to use your company logo anymore.
Once your trademark gets approved, the ™ or ® symbol will appear next to your design, logo or words.
Even though registering your slogans or logos isn’t compulsory, it’s a very important part of protecting your brand.
Since no one else can use your trademarks after it’s been registered, your brand will now be legally protected from being copied and misused.
Registering your trademark also lets your customers recognize your goods or services under a single brand name or identity.
Here are some of the main advantages of registering your trademark:
A registered trademark is proof of ownership. This will give you the exclusive rights to use and assign the trademark however you want to.
No one else will be able use it other than you.
In case someone else uses your trademark, you can enforce your ownership rights at court whether it’s at criminal or civil court. You can do this to stop others from using your mark or to even claim damages.
The court will usually decide how the other party will have to compensate you for the damages done.
If the right time comes, you can sell your trademark since it is a registered asset of the company.
A trademark also adds value to your business because it can protect your market share.
Much like selling your trademark, you can also license it to other businesses for a fee.
If someone infringes on your trademark, you can take them to court.
This comes in handy when you have a registered trademark because you won’t have to prove how reputed your business is.
However, if you do have an unregistered trademark, you’ll then have to prove your business’s credibility.
All laws and activities related to trademarks are regulated by the National Intellectual Property Office.
There’s two types of marks you can register:
If you want to register a mark that only has words in it, it’s a wordmark. You cannot have any designs or logos in this category.
If your wordmark consists of two or more words, you will get exclusive rights to your wordmark.
If you’re looking to register a mark that has any design elements in it like a logo or an illustration, you have to register it as a trademark.
Every good trademark has at least one of the following characteristics:
Remember, good trademarks stick to your target customer’s brain.
Yes, absolutely anyone can register a trademark.
Anyone from corporations, partnerships, unincorporated individuals to associations can register for a trademark.
If you’re an unregistered company that wants to register a trademark, we recommend you register your company first.
Additional resource: How to register a Private Limited Company in Sri Lanka.
A registered trademark is valid for a total of 10 years from the date of registration.
After your 10 year period is over, you can renew your trademark for another decade.
There are two very important steps in registering your trademark:
Let’s take a look at both:
Before you begin this step, it’s recommended that you do an Intellectual Property search.
This is optional, but an Intellectual Property search will help you determine whether there are any other existing companies with the same name, logo or slogan as you.
Start by doing a basic Intellectual Property search across your specific industry according to class.
We recommend that you get a professional to do this.
Moving on to filing documents:
This only applies if:
After you’ve filed the documents, the registration process begins.
Once your trademark has been approved, it will be published in a Government gazette. If there is any opposition to your trademark, a claim will be made against your trademark.
If there is no opposition claim made, your application will proceed as usual and be registered.
In-case your mark doesn’t get approved by the National Intellectual Property Office, you will be notified by the registrar.
After you’ve been notified about your trademark not getting approved, you can make a written appeal against the rejection within a month of the dismissal.
If it is necessary, you will be given a court date for a hearing.
Once you’ve submitted the appeal, the registrar will make either the necessary modification or refuse the application altogether.
Still, have more questions? Let us help you!
No, if you’ve registered your trademark in Sri Lanka, it will only be valid in Sri Lanka.
You can technically register a trademark by yourself if you follow the steps we’ve laid out for you.
But hey, if you think you need help setting everything up or if you want a professional to handle everything for you, let us know.
Simplebooks has registered dozens of trademarks over the years. Our team is highly experienced in the process and will take care of everything for you.
There are two steps important steps:
(Read a detailed version of this here)
1. Submit application forms
– Conduct an Intellectual Property search (Optional)
– Submit your name, address and a complete list of goods and services traded in the business under the NICE classification
– Hand in a letter of appointment by the power of attorney (Optional)
– Hand in either 6 hard copies of your trademark OR a scanned copy
– If you’ve applied for a trademark in another country, bring the certified copy of the application forms.
– If your trademark isn’t in English, bring the English translation of the trademark (optional)
2. Registration process
– Submit the Intellectual Property application along with the logo design/trade name when you make your first payment
– Obtain a ‘Filing Number’ from the Intellectual Property Office
– Queuing for Examination stage
– Examination of trademark
– Sending of papers to the translation department (if they need translation)
– Make your second payment
– Publicly announce the trademark registration on a government gazette
– Objection period of 3 months once the trademark registration has been announced
– Issuing of trademark certificate (if there are no objections)
A company trademark is any logo, slogan or invented word registered by the company as a trademark. This trademark will be used to represent the company brand and enhance brand identity.
If your mark only has words in it, you can register it as a wordmark.
If your mark has any type of design or logo in it, you can register it as a wordmark.
– When you register a trademark, it becomes exclusively owned by you. So your slogan, logo or invented word gets legal protection against illegal duplication.
– If you register a logo under a company, you can transfer it if you ever sell the company.
– You can license your trademark to other for a fee
Trademark registration cost depends on the class of registration. Contact Simplebooks for more details!
– Name, address and complete list of goods and services traded in the company according to NICE classification
– A letter of appointment by power of attorney (optional)
– Hand in either 6 hard copies of your trademark OR an electronic specimen (scanned copy)
– If you’ve applied for a trademark in another country, bring the certification or application
– If your trademark isn’t in English, bring an English translation by a sworn translator (optional)
No, it doesn’t. You only get protection in the country you register the trademark in.
It is the legal protection provided for an Industrial Design in Sri Lanka by the National Intellectual Property Office.
If the name hasn’t been trademarked in Sri Lanka, you can. However, the other company can always object.
It’s the same process as normal trademark registration. Read about how to register a trademark here.
It’s not compulsory for anyone to register a trademark. However, regardless of the size of the business – it’s always smart to register your logos and slogans as trademarks.
Because you’re a small company, there’s always a chance that another company may trademark your logo or steal it.
Every good trademark has at least one of the following characteristics:
– Its unique and original
– Easy to remember and resonates with the target audience
– Uses non-generic words
– Refrains from using three letter acronyms (example: Mrs, SEO, BRB)
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