Welcome to our blog. We create it to share with you our knowledge of law and business and experience of best entrepreneurs. Today we talk about trademark protection. Let’s start!

1. What does trademark mean in business?

Name, logo, and other brand marks are an important element of each business. Trademark can be a drawing, ornament, color composition, spatial form, and even a sound signal. Such “identifiers” help to build trust, brand recognition and to express a quality guarantee that helps in advertising your business. In law, we call such them trademarks. See official WIPO webpage for more info.

2. Do you need to register a trademark?

Definitely yes. After a trademark registration, you will gain the exclusive right to use the trademark. It helps to increase trust, grow the prestige of your brand, reduce the chance of counterfeiting or other acts of  unfair competition. In addition, you will be able to earn money out of the trademark – the trademark value grows along with consumer awareness of your brand. The wider your brand recognition, the more you sell.

3. How to protect a trademark?

In order for a trademark to benefit from legal protection, it must be registered with the appropriate industrial property office. Within the European Union, trademarks are registered at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). On the other hand, registration under the World Intellectual Property Organization and international protection is possible only after registration at a national office. The protection of trademarks is also possible on online platforms, an example of which is the register maintained by AmazonAfter registering your trademark, you acquire the right to its exclusive use. The duration of protection depends on the register. For instance in Poland it is 10 years with the possibility of extending for a longer time. A trademark reservation may be indicated by placing symbol “R” inside circle next to the trademark.

4. Do the best companies protect their trademarks?

Yes, sure! We discussed it with Maciej Herman, CEO of Wedel – a famous Polish chocolate brand. Mr. Herman explained that they often deal with intellectual property issues and trademark in particular: “At Wedel most legal cases connected with precisely trademarks, intellectual property law. Usually these are quite complicated projects. Wedel has trademarks which are very important to us. ”. Well-known brands as Wedel take great care of their trademarks, cooperate with lawyers to effectively protect their brand from unfair competition. That’s is an important part of the company that  going to play long on the market.

5. When is the best time to register a trademark?

Often entrepreneurs hesitate when to register the trademark – at the beginning or when the company will grow. The problem is that later the registration of the selected trademark might be impossible – someone else already use and register this trademark. You can get into long and expensive court processes – and it might not finish successfully for you. Register a trademark, if you are going to invest in your brand.

6. What are the difficulties with claiming the right to a trademark, if the mark of the present has not remained registered?

Mr. Herman clarified difficulties Wedel had to get the exclusivity of their trademark: “I will give an example of a long process concerning the sign Ptasie Mleczko ®. Ptasie Mleczko ® was found by Jan Wedel in the interwar period. Unfortunately, after the war, during socialist times, people did not really care about trademark protection. According to that, products similar to Ptasie Mleczko ® appeared in the neighboring parts of the Eastern bloc with same name, produced by other companies. When communism fell, we started to fight for that trademark. It was a difficult process, which lasted about 10 years. That was a difficult legal task but it conclude with success for us.”.

Read the full interview

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