I’m no expert on the topic of Trademarks but do appreciate the importance of having one, or more. I often see this topic being dicussed amongst VAs worldwide and it’s important that they avail themselves of this information and important topic. Especially if they’ve trademarked in their country and think that no-one else can use the same business name as them in another country. That is not the case and Jacqui explains why in her article published today at Flying Solo.
Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of trade mark infringement, Jacqui starts with a tip:
If you think your trade mark is being infringed do NOT contact the person concerned until you’ve spoken to a professional. If you make ‘threats of action’ against people with no grounds to be doing so, they can sue you!
What is trade mark infringement?
Trade mark infringement (generally speaking) occurs when someone uses an unregistered ‘sign’ (name, logo, slogan etc) “as a trade mark” and which is:
a) too similar to a registered trade mark; and
b) for the same or related goods or services to the registered trade mark.
The “as a trade mark” rule is an important one. A trade mark by definition is a sign used to distinguish goods and services sold by different traders. If a person uses a purely descriptive term within their business literature, it may not be viewed as ‘use as a trade mark’ to enable infringement action by a registered trade mark holder.
For the full article click here. In particular, read the part about international infringement. Very, very important with respect to our industry.