trade marks

A trade mark is a sign used to identify the origin of a product and to distinguish it from products of a different origin.

The “sign” can be a word (like NIKE, ADIDAS, GOOGLE, APPLE or MICROSOFT), a phrase (e.g. Nike’s JUST DO IT), a logo (e.g. Macdonald’s “golden arches”), an image, a scent, a shape, a colour, an aspect of packaging or branding, or other symbol (e.g. Toyota’s JUMP trade mark).

The owner of a trade mark can stop another person from using the same or similar trade mark on similar goods and services. In some cases, trade mark rights are the most valuable intangible asset of a company. Unlike other forms of intellectual property protection, trade mark rights do not expire – so long as the owner continues to use the mark and pays the relevant renewal fees.




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