How trade marks should be protected and why is it so important?

If you wish to enforce rights from your trade mark in an efficient manner, you need to provide it with adequate legal protection. If you use specific, fancy name, you should apply for its registration as word mark. If an original graphics pertains to such name, you can obtain protection for a figurative mark. In certain cases it is also possible to obtain protection for shape marks as well as other unusual marks. It all depends whether they are adequate to distinguish goods or services of your company from goods or services of other entrepreneurs.

Further, think on which territory your company operates. If it operates only locally, then national protection in the Polish Patent Office is sufficient. You can obtain it for 10 years even from PLN 890. When this period elapses, then such protection can be extended by a subsequent 10-year period of time. If you export your goods or provide services also in other Members States of the European Union, it is worth registering your trade mark in the European Union Intellectual Property (EUIPO) which is seated in Alicante, Spain. Then, by one such application you obtain protection for the entire EU territory for EUR 850. Similarly like in Poland, such protection is obtained first for 10 years with the possibility to extend it for subsequent periods of 10 years. If your company also operates outside the European Union, then acting through a Polish patent attorney, you should apply for protection of your mark in countries which belong to the so-called Madrid Protocol. Currently, the Madrid Protocol encompasses over 100 countries. Costs of international registration depend on various factors, primarily, on how many countries is chosen and what countries these will be.

Upon registration of a trade mark you obtain the exclusive right to use such mark on the territory where the application for registration was filed. Further, ® symbol can be already used at the trade mark. The very use of such symbol discourages potential violators who are very well aware that in such case it will be easier for you to enforce legal protection.

Monika Kowalczyk