How do trademark laws affect me

Every country that recognizes and provides for the registration of marks will adopt a trademark law as a regulatory framework for their use and the enforcement of trademark rights. When registering your mark it is advised that you obtain the services of a professional firm to guide you in understanding the relevant laws in place that will affect the use of your mark.

The importance of trademark laws

It is essential for all trademark owners to be aware of the applicable laws in place in the countries where their mark is used commercially, as failure to comply with such laws can result in revocation of trademark rights.

Each country that has an Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) or registry will actively enforce the applicable law and monitor the use of trademarks within their remit. It is typically the responsibility of the appropriate IPO to ensure that the rules and regulations in place are complied with, and where infringement occurs, the law in place will provide course of action available and the remedies.

For all trademarks that are used in a commercial capacity, the relevant law in place will apply, whether or not the mark is registered and supporting a R symbol or an unregistered TM symbol. It is consequently vital that all owners acknowledge the trademark law and adhere to the specified rules, obligations and regulations at all times.

By adhering to the applicable trademark laws you will enjoy a greater level of protection under said law. All registered marks are protected under laws and provided the mark is used within its commercial capacity, the owner can confidently rest assured that the law will support and protect its mark.

However it should also be noted that where your mark is registered under OHIM or WIPO, or with a number of national IPO’s, the relevant laws enforced by these registries will apply to your trademark i.e. the law in your country of domicile may not be the applicable where you are registered under WIPO.

Trademark laws are adopted and enforced ultimately to ensure trademarks are used in a fair and competitive environment. Although the scope of law is expansive and will typically provide legal protection and available remedies in cases of infringement and passing off.

Should owners fail to meet trademark law requirements or actively act in non compliance with laws, it may result in the revocation of their trademark rights, which can be extremely detrimental to the brand identity, customer loyalty and commercial advertising of the company, products or services in which the trademark represents.

Trademark laws will vary from country to country and as previously mentioned, the law in your country of domicile may not be the applicable law regulating your trademark. Where you have a CTM (Community Trademark) your mark is regulated under EU laws and must comply with EU intellectual property standards.

Due to the extent by which trademark laws will affect the use and rights of your mark, it is imperative to be aware of the applicable law in place and the rights, obligations and requirements as provided by the law. In order to become familiar with the relevant laws that will affect the use and protection of your mark, you are advised to seek professional guidance from an attorney or consultancy firm that specialize in trademark law.