Can I own a trademark

The right to own a trademark extends to any individual or business that rightfully owns or has created a trademark. It is necessary however, to prove that goodwill was executed when the mark was produced by the owner, as this will ensure the necessary steps were taken in making sure the mark is available for registration. It is also essential that the mark seeking registration meets all prescribed standards and requirements as set by the applicable intellectual property office (IPO).

Trademark ownership explained

Trademark ownership is awarded in the form of a certificate of registration issued by the authorizing body, or Intellectual Property Office, as it is more commonly known. Any company or individual owner can apply for the set of exclusive rights over their mark, provided all the necessary requirements are met and good faith executed. One of the most important aspects to consider when seeking legal ownership of your mark is whether the mark is in fact available for registration. It is essential to conduct a search of the relevant trademark database to ensure, prior to application; the mark is original and available to register.

It is important to be aware of the requirements to satisfy when seeking trademark ownership. Some of the more notable aspects to consider include,

  • The mark must have been created in good will and due diligence shown
  • It must be capable of graphical representation
  • It should be distinctive and non descriptive of the product or service it represents
  • It should not be the same or similar to that of a registered mark
  • The mark cannot be confusing to the public, nor can it be offensive or immoral
  • To be an official trademark owner, you must register the mark with the appropriate registry
  • You must use the mark in a commercial capacity and in compliance with applicable regulations

In order to become a legally recognized trademark owner, you must satisfy all the above conditions and any other requirements as stipulated by the appropriate intellectual property registry.

As mentioned, any individual or company can become an official owner, in as many countries they choose, provided the mark will be used in a commercial capacity and the trademark is ‘available’ to register in each of the selected jurisdictions. Many companies seek ownership of a CTM, which is an EU registered trademark, as the rights awarded to the owner are valid in all 27 EU member states.

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