Thứ Năm, 15 tháng 11, 2018

Why Trademarks Are So Important

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , , No comments


Trademark is a sign for consumers to identify the goods or services of each company from those of others.
Trademarks are an important part of client company’s competitive edge. As consumers, our purchasing decisions are constantly influenced by trademarks. As business people, we should have a better understanding of why trademarks are so important to effective commerce. Trademarks are also used as a way of protecting consumers. When businesses are responsible for any products or services bearing their trademark, they tend to take more pride in products. To maintain a good reputation, trademarked companies will often work harder to provide quality services and products. Reasons 


 Trademarks Are Important to Your Business.
- Trademarks make it easy for consumers to find you.
- Trademarks help prevent marketplace confusion
Trademarks are a very economically efficient communication tool
-Trademarks are your most enduring assets.
-Trademarks support stronger sales volume, stronger margins, and can provide price maintenance legally
-Trademarks are relatively inexpensive to protect
-Trademarks allow businesses to most effectively utilize the Internet
-Trademarks are very effective against unfair competition

1. Trademarks make it easy for consumers to find you.

◦ Trademarks help you distinguish your products and services from those of competitors and help identify you as the source.

◦ Trademarks indicate a consistent level of quality of your products and services.

◦ Awareness of your brand and the goodwill embodied in your trademark can often take decades to establish.

◦ Aggregate cost of advertising, promotion, marketing, and sales efforts can easily reach into tens of millions or even billions of dollars, depending on the product/service.

◦ Differentiating your product/service from competitors is increasingly difficult to achieve, especially over a protracted period.

◦ Trademarks are the most efficient commercial communication tool ever devised to:

• "cut through the clutter";

• capture the consumer's attention; and

• make your products/services stand out.

2. Trademarks help prevent marketplace confusion

◦ Trademarks protect the consuming public by preventing confusion as to the source of goods or services.

◦ If the product made under a brand turns out to be defective, consumers have accurate information about the source of a product and can return it to the manufacturer or supplier for a refund.

◦ Trademarks give consumers the ability to protect themselves by relying upon known brands of products or services.

◦ Trademarks provide consumer convenience by allowing consumers to identify (by word, logo, slogan, package design, or other indicators of origin) which product or service they would like to purchase or to avoid purchasing.

◦ Trademarks provide consumer convenience by allowing consumers to base their purchasing decisions on what they have heard, read, or experienced themselves.

◦ Trademarks motivate companies to provide a consistent level of quality, helping the consumer to decide whether to purchase a desirable product or service again or to avoid an undesirable one.

3. Trademarks are a very economically efficient communication tool

◦ Trademarks dramatically reduce the costs of decision-making by allowing consumers to rapidly select the desired product or service from among competitive offerings.

◦ Trademarks can wrap up in a single brand or logo intellectual and emotional attributes and messages about your:

• Company;

• Reputation;

• Products and services; and

• Consumers' lifestyles, aspirations, and desires.

◦ Trademarks can work effectively across borders, cultures, and languages.

◦ Famous marks can be recognized as brands even when the native population speaks a different language and reads a different alphabet (i.e., the McDonalds "arches" logo, the NIKE "swoosh" logo).

4. Trademarks are your most enduring assets.

◦ Trademarks are one of the few assets that can provide you with a long-term competitive advantage.

◦ Trademarks are usually the only business asset you have that can appreciate over time.

◦ Trademarks are leverageable - they provide value beyond your core business, and can pave the way for expansion (or acquisition, if desired) of your business.

• Brand Expansions:

• KELLOGG'S - from "ready-to-eat cereals" to "snack bars and breakfast bars"

• ARMANI - from "runway apparel" to "perfumes and eyewear"

• VIRGIN - from airline services to entertainment media and carbonated drinks

5. Trademarks support stronger sales volume, stronger margins, and can provide price maintenance legally.

◦ It is often difficult to see significant differences among competing products.

◦ Your brand can be the critical factor in driving the consumer's purchase decision.

◦ The price variance among competitive offerings can also be substantial, often by 100% or more in the same setting, such as a newspaper. Once again, your brand can make the difference.

6. Trademarks are relatively inexpensive to protect

◦ Once you have successfully registered a trademark, it has a potentially infinite lifespan with the filing of renewals. Renewals can be filed every 10 years after registration in the U.S. so long as the mark is being used in commerce (there are certain exceptions to this use requirement that will not be discussed here).

• COLT (first registered in 1889))

• QUAKER (first registered in 1895)

• PEPSI-COLA (first registered in 1896)

• MERCEDES (first registered in 1900)

◦ Trademarks share attributes with other forms of property, like real estate, as they can be:

• Bought and sold ("Assignments")

• In the acquisition of a business

• In the acquisition of a specific product line

• Pledged (as security, like a mortgage)- to secure loans to a business

• Licensed (like renting or leasing)

• Character merchandising

• Sports endorsements and sponsorships

• Co-branding promotions, sweepstakes, contests.

7. Trademarks allow businesses to most effectively utilize the Internet

◦ Trademarks are often the "top-of-mind" address for an Internet user seeking information about a company and its products/services.

◦ Higher traffic on a website translates into higher rankings on search engine results, bringing even more traffic.

◦ As a result of the importance of the Internet to marketing, it is crucial to obtain desirable domain names at the same time that a trademark is adopted.

◦ The Internet also has the potential for widespread unauthorized use of your brand, requiring vigilance to police both proper use of your brand and infringements of it:

• META tags

• Embedded or hidden text

• Counterfeits and design knockoffs

• Gray market goods

8. Trademarks are very effective against unfair competition

◦ In the United States, deceptive and misleading advertising is prohibited by: Consumer protection laws; Unfair competition laws; and The U.S. Trademark statute.


Thứ Tư, 14 tháng 11, 2018

Do you have to buy trademark in all countries?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , No comments


If you or your business operate a website, you should get a US trademark, unless the website uses a ccTLD other than the .us TLD. There are many benefits to getting a US trademark. A US trademark seems to be the most popular jurisdiction for trademarks.
Trademark Use In USA
If you operate a blog with Amazon or CJ or other US-based affiliate ads or even Google Adsense, you may base your application based on actual use in commerce in the USA by claiming “Online advertising and promotional services” as your service.
If you operate a website that sells goods directly or by drop shipping, you should be able to claim services such as an “On-line retail store services featuring … (describe your goods.)”
Make sure that you use your trademark within view of your ads when creating your website, otherwise, the USPTO may reject your trademark specimen. USPTO trademark applications are usually examined within 4 months and you can get a registration within 8 months.
Getting a US-based trademark is generally preferred for protecting domain names with the .com, .net, .org, and .us TLDs from UDRP or Cybersquatting Complaints.
In what other Countries Should I Register my Trademark?
Your business should register its trademark in every country:
·         where it does business,
·         where it will be offering its goods and services,
·         where it manufactures its goods, and
·         where you plan on licensing your company’s trademark.
Some jurisdictions don’t need use before registration, such as the UK and the EU, and China. Other countries allow for registration based on use and registration abroad, such as the USA and Canada. In any case, trademarks are vulnerable to cancellation after the third anniversary of their registration in most countries if you can’t prove “use of the trademark” within the previous 3 years.
The UK examines and usually approves trademarks within 3 months of filing your application.
The EU examines and usually approves trademarks within 6 months of filing your application.
Canada’s trademark office, CIPO, has typically been taking 12 to 14 months to examine trademark applications filed since 2016.
Oppositions cause uncertainty and can get expensive. Any interested person may oppose a trademark application after a trademarks office has approved it and published it for “opposition” in its Trademarks Journal. If there’s no opposition, most countries will send you a Notice of Allowance.
Some countries require a registration fee. The USPTO requires a Statement of Use fee.
In any case, it is wise to file your trademark applications as soon as you adopt and clear a trademark. If you are planning on growing your business quickly or launching a product before getting a Notice of Allowance, it is important to do a full trademark search to clear your trademark choice. Otherwise, you may face a trademark infringement lawsuit soon after your sales start growing or your website gets traffic.
If you think that you have a very valuable domain, trademark the domain either in the US or in the country that you list in your address as the registrant of the domain name.
Global Trademarks
There’s no such thing as a Global trademark. The Madrid Protocol, however, allows you to file one application in many countries using WIPO’s Madrid SystemTrademarks
How can I protect my trademark?
Trademarks are registered at the national and regional levels. For example, there are trademark offices in each country in the EU and there's an EUIPO trademark office https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimport....
So you can have a trademark registered in Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Romania, as well as in the EU.
Trademark law, treaties and documents
The treaties WIPO administers, together with national and regional laws, make up the international legal framework for trademarks.
Trademark-related treaties administered by WIPO
·         Paris Convention
The Paris Convention is an international treaty that allows applicants to file a first application in their home country. That application is referred to as a priority document or filing, and the date it is filed is called the priority date.
 The Paris Convention gives you a 6-month window to file additional trademarkapplications in various countries after you file a trademark application in your home country and still claim your priority date.

·         Madrid Agreement (Marks)
Nationals of any of the Madrid contracting countries may, in all the other countries party to this Agreement, secure protection for their marks applicable to goods or services, registered in the country of origin, by filing the said marks at the International Bureau of Intellectual Property (hereinafter designated as "the International Bureau") referred to in the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (hereinafter designated as "the Organization"), through the intermediary of the Office of the said country of origin.

·         Madrid Protocol
The Madrid system comprises two treaties; the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, which was concluded in 1891, and entered into force in 1892, and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement, which came into operation on 1 April 1996.

·         Nice Agreement

The Nice Agreement established a classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trademarks and service marks (the Nice Classification), in classes numbered 1 to 45.

·         Vienna Agreement

The Vienna Agreement, concluded in Vienna in 1973 and amended in 1985, establishes a classification (the Vienna Classification) for marks that consist of, or contain, figurative elements, in classes 1 to 29 and up to four sub-levels.

·         Singapore Treaty

A modern and dynamic international framework for the harmonization of administrative trademark registration procedures.

·         Trademark Law Treaty
The Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) standardized and streamlined national and regional trademark registration procedures by simplifying and harmonizing those procedures to make trademark applications and the administration of trademark registrations in multiple jurisdictions less complex and more predictable. The procedures are divided into three main phases:
1. application for registration;
2. changes after registration; and
3. renewal.
The rules concerning each phase are constructed so as to clearly define the requirements for an application or a specific request.

·         Nairobi Treaty:
All States party to the Nairobi Treaty are under the obligation to protect the Olympic symbol – five interlaced rings – against use for commercial purposes (in advertisements, on goods, as a mark, etc.) without the authorization of the International Olympic Committee.






Thứ Hai, 12 tháng 11, 2018

Turkey Imposed Anti-dumping Duty on Products of Vietnam

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , No comments


The Ministry of Economy of Turkey has just issued the conclusion on anti-dumping investigations against such products as plywood and polyester textured yarn imported from Vietnam.
According to the investigation report content of the Turkish Ministry of Economy, there are only 2 Vietnam enterprises engaged in providing information to the investigating authorities.
These enterprises will not be subjected to the application of measures against evasion of anti-dumping duty, since they have provided information in full and on time and proved that export products are produced in their company.
Particularly for businesses that do not provide information to the investigating authorities, they will be subjected to the application of tax rate of 240 USD/m3 (equivalent to the anti-dumping duty that has been applied by Turkey to the import goods of China’s enterprises).
The time to apply the tax rate is as soon as the Ministry of Economy published the contents of the investigation in the Official Gazette of Turkey. However, Turkey has also announced that they will review the comments on the report of the investigation of the relating parties.
The case of evading anti-dumping duty investigation for plywood products that are imported from a number of countries, including Vietnam was initiated from the date of May 27th 2015 for plywood products with HS codes: 4412.10; 4412.31; 4412.32 and 4412.39 in the period from 2010 to the present.
Earlier in 2006, Turkey has decided to impose anti-dumping duty for the aforementioned products imported from China, with the tax rate of 240 USD/m3.
Also under the Trade Office – Vietnam Embassy in Turkey, Directorate General for Imports – Ministry of Economy of Turkey has just issued the conclusion for the anti-dumping investigation on polyester textured yarn imported from several countries, including Vietnam.
Based on the conclusion, the Turkey’s investigation agency determined the dumping margin of Vietnam enterprises is 34.81% – 72.56%; Thailand is 8.48% – 37.69%. Directorate General for Imports – Ministry of Economy of Turkey advised related parties to send complaints or feedback on the investigation report. After that, Directorate General for Imports – Ministry of Economy of Turkey will hold separate hearings for each enterprise.





Thứ Sáu, 9 tháng 11, 2018

How many trademarks can a single company have?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , No comments


Trademark is a sign for consumers to identify the goods or services of each company from those of others. You can have as many trademarks as you wish!


However, there are some point to have in mind:

The registration of highly similar trademarks is a waste of time and money. The trademark is protected not only against the use of Identical marks, but also against the use of similar Marks. So if you use the trademark in three different colours, you should register only black-and-white trademark, as the protection will be given to all the colourful uses of the mark.

Review your trademark portfolio from time to time. Some trademark might not be relevant anymore. So you should not renew the marks and pay all the renewal or registration fees for such marks that no longer exists in the market.

The more different trademarks you own, the stronger competitive power you have. You can limit the possibility of your competitors to use in all the brand names and similar names that you have the registration. So the broader TM portfolio is, the less choices are left to the competitors. Also, if you lose one trademark later on, it will not be a tragic situations, because you will have other protected marks. However, if you have a single mark registered and someone cancels it, you will be in very unfavourable situation.

The trademark is registered only in a country where you filed the registration. Which means, if you have a US trademark, you still do not have any protection in the EU market. If you want to have protection in EU, you must file a new European application.


Thứ Tư, 7 tháng 11, 2018

When should a startup file for a patent?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , No comments


Each jurisdiction is different in terms of its “first to disclose”, “first to file” and “first to invent” rules. First to file and first to invent - Wikipedia
You should file a provisional patent application as soon as possible (to establish your patent’s priority date) if you are filing your patent application in the US because USPTO follows a “first inventor to file” rule. First Inventor to File (FITF) Resources
I’ll recommend the following course of action to help you file a provisional patent application as quickly as possible:
a) Conduct a through prior art search as soon as possible to make sure that your idea is novel, non-obvious to others in your field, and has utility in real life.
b) Draft your first independent claim. Draft any additional independent claims if you’ve more than one. Don’t waste your time on drafting any dependent claims at this stage.
c) Focus on writing as many possible embodiments you can think of for implementing not only your independent claim(s) that you have drafted but also for all possible dependent claims (that you’ve not drafted). Refer to 2164-The Enablement Requirement to guide you in writing your embodiments.
d) While drafting your embodiments, draw as many diagrams as possible to show your invention and its implementation. Follow Patent Drawing Rules: Everything You Need to Know. No need to use any fancy tools for doing your diagrams. Make your drawings by hand for now to save some time.
e) Provide a brief definition of any special terms that you are using in your patent claims and embodiments.
f) Draft a paragraph to serve as abstract. No need to write any paragraphs covering background of the invention or summary of the invention. Providing a list of prior art is also not needed at this stage.
You are now ready to file a provisional patent application. File it without any delay to establish a priority date. You’ll have a full year to file your non-provisional patent after this date. During this one year time, also called a “pendency period”, patent process is pending till you file your non-provisional patent application.