How to protect the trademark .. locally and internationally, with steps
If you choose a business idea and rely on designing a brand for that project, one of the next most important steps is to protect the brand.
What is the brand?
It is a name, design, or both together. It distinguishes commercial entities such as companies and projects from each other and thus can be considered as a “company or project identity” and comes in several forms such as a “trade name, logo” and it is a means of communicating with customers by communicating the idea and nature of the work Its goal is simple.
Types of intellectual property
According to WIPO International, there is Three types of intellectual property:
- PatentIf your idea is a new invention, for example, a device or method of work, or any idea that did not exist previously.
- TrademarkBranding includes the name of your project, the logo of your site or product that you intend to use, and everything related to your corporate identity.
- Content License: If your idea is about producing intellectual, audio or visual content. Like writing books, or creating content online. etc.
The explanation in this article will be about Trademark registration and protection Just.
You may be interested in: Steps to turn an idea into a successful project
Is trademark protection limited to companies only?
Trademark registration is legitimate for both individuals and companies. You can obtain a trademark protection certificate that makes you feel safe to proceed with the establishment of your project and present it to potential investors or partners without fear of it being stolen in the pre-establishment stage. It’s beautiful isn’t it! This applies to all types of intellectual property.
Do I need a lawyer to register a trademark?
I expect that most of you are ambitious individuals looking for the lowest costs to launch your projects. So, I will focus my explanation on ways to register as individuals. Read on.
Initially, you have two ways to protect your brand:
- Expensive way: Consultation with a legal expert to explain everything related to the legal and administrative procedures for registration in the local and/or international official bodies and to assign him/her the procedures.
- Less expensive way: Registering the trademark yourself as a kind of initial protection by submitting the application yourself and following it until the issuance of the trademark registration certificate.
If you do not have the financial means to pay for legal advice, do the same and register it yourself, and I will show you the way that I protect the intellectual property of my logos (trademarks) and names of my own projects.
Brand protection method
You can obtain protection for your trademark by submitting a trademark registration form with the Directorate of Commercial and Industrial Property Protection in your country. Registering a trademark will ensure the protection of your efforts to develop this mark, especially in the event of a conflict with an identical or ambiguously similar mark, or if it is used without the written consent of the trademark owner.
Most countries allow the application for registration of the trademark to be submitted electronically through the websites of the intellectual property regulatory authorities in each country. Here are the steps to protect the trademark:
1- Select the authority or directorate responsible for protecting intellectual property in your country:
You can do this by searching on Google; If you are in an Arab country, “Intellectual Property Protection in Saudi Arabia”, for example, or “Trade Mark Registration” or “Patent Office in Turkey” and in this manner, it will certainly show you who to start from – after bypassing the ads funded in Google, of course – and most countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have electronic platforms to apply for protection of intellectual property of all kinds.
2- Fill out and submit the trademark protection form:
After determining the responsibility of the authority, you must start filling out the form designated for protecting the trademark. During this stage, your personal identification documents, your address, the design of the trademark, its name, the details of the colors, and what the design symbolizes, image and writing, will be requested, in addition to choosing the trademark classification, which is often symbolized by a symbol or number. The same body responsible for registering trademarks will provide you with a list of these classifications and their symbols to determine what matches your project idea.
3- Pay the application fee for initial approval:
When submitting a trademark registration application, payment of the application fee will be requested in order to conduct a search in the databases and to ensure that your mark is not similar to a previously registered mark, and to ensure that the classification you have chosen matches the idea of your project, and that your mark complies with local standards and other check points that differ from One country to another, and all this to obtain initial approval.
4- Publication and advertising of the trademark:
After paying the fees, the authority responsible for protecting intellectual property will publish your trademark on its website for a period of 3 to 6 months – depending on the country – in order to ensure that there is no objection from any other party or individuals.
5- Obtaining a trademark registration certificate:
After the expiry of the period of advertising your trademark and there is no objection to it, a certificate of registration of the trademark will be mailed to you, which is for a period of 10 years and is renewable. Congratulations.
Individuals start protecting their brands locally due to the low cost of this process, pending the testing of the local market and ensuring the success of the project before proceeding with the process of establishing a company and geographical expansion internationally. Well, we will also explain how to protect trademarks internationally, read on.
International trademark protection under the Madrid System
There are several systems governing the protection of intellectual property and trademarks internationally:
- Paris Trademark Agreement.
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- Singapore Treaty on the International Registration of a Trademark.
- Madrid Protocol (Madrid System International Registration of Trademarks).
After you protect the trademark locally in your country, you can expand the protection area to be international. It is simple through the Madrid Protocol, but it is expensive because you will pay the fees for each individual country, and according to the Madrid Agreement, the protection will cover 123 countries. You can submit your application electronically through WIPO Portal Responsible for protecting intellectual property internationally.
And if your mark belongs to an industrial project, you can also rely on the Paris Convention, provided that your country is a signatory to this agreement, and here Details here.
In the beginning, there is no need to register your mark or idea in all countries because this is very expensive and only major international companies do it because they open branches or direct offices in each of the countries in which their trademarks are protected.
Read also: Trademark protection in America and the difference between Trademark and DBA