Five Misconceptions About Managing Trademarks Internationally

Managing an international IP portfolio is very challenging hence Brand owners seeking to expand their trademark protection globally require specialized assistance. Many businesses embark to expand their international presence without adequate knowledge about the trademark laws of different jurisdictions across the world. It is also disheartening that many business professionals keep misconceptions about registering trademarks internationally.  However, consulting with reputed trademark agents in Dubai with a global presence and network helps the business owners clear their misconceptions.

Related: Top 5 Trademark Issues to Consider While Franchising Your Brand

Here is a list of five common misconceptions about managing an international trademark registration.

1. Trademark Protection Only Covers the Use of a Logo

The corporate logo is the most visible aspect of a brand that the consumers easily identify within any part of the world. Businessmen with lower IP awareness often possess the misconception that trademark registration and protection cover only the logo of the brand. It is not the truth as word marks, Shape, sound marks, colours and even scent marks associated with a brand are being trademarked in different jurisdictions.

The trademark law in every jurisdiction is different from each other and you need to check what can be registered and what can’t be registered as trademarks in each jurisdiction. Some countries allow the trademark registration of words or phrases without specifying any particular font, colour, or design elements.  For example, trademark registration in the UAE allows you to protect the shape of a trademark but no other non-traditional trademarks. You can also protect the shape of a mark by applying for trademark registration in Israel. Trademark agents in Dubai offer specialized advise regarding the registration requirements in different countries and they can guide you in registering in marks based on the laws in different

2. No Protection for a Trademark That is Not Actively Being Used

Not all countries enforce the intent to use a mark or the requirement of proof of use. However, if you are filing for trademark registration in the US or Canada, you may require to furnish the proof of use or intent to use the mark.  If you are filing for trademark registration as per the Madrid Protocol, you can find that most of the member countries don’t enforce the intent to use requirements. However, some countries have rules which allow third parties to request cancellation of a mark for non-use.  Consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai to understand the trademark laws in various countries regarding the cancellation over non-use.

3. Registration in Major Countries Permits the Right to Sell Anywhere

It is a common misconception that the trademark registration in one or two countries will ensure uniform protection for the trademark anywhere. For instance, trademark registration in the UAE or Israel is not a guarantee for selling your brand in Egypt without registration. Trademark registration in the EU is one notable exception in this regard. Trademarks registered in the UAE enjoy protection across all the EU member states.  Also, if you are registering trademarks under the Madrid Protocol system, you can file a worldwide application through World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which will advise you on multiple jurisdictions where you can file the applications.

4. Commercial Use Grants Universal Rights

You cannot have exclusive rights over a trademark without registration in many countries that follow the Civil Law System. However, some countries like the US that follows the common law system grants the rights to trademarks over commercial use. Countries such as France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and China that follow the civil law system won’t grant rights over prior use without a judicial precedent. The companies operating in such countries need to register the trademarks to enjoy IP protection. Consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai to know more about the countries that follow the civil law system and the common law system and how you can protect your trademarks in such jurisdictions.

5. Once a Trademark is Registered, it is Protected Forever

In most of the countries, the law specifies a time period for protection granted for a trademark through registration. Trademark registration in the UAE will grant protection for a period of 10 years and the same is the case with trademark registration in Israel, Oman, etc. After the expiry of the protection period, the brand owners need to apply for trademark renewal. Failing to renew the trademark may lead to the cancellation of the mark from the register in many countries. Many countries have laws regarding the when can a trademark be abandoned for being inactive or considered as lost if it becomes generic. For trademark renewals or for clarification over laws regarding abandoned trademarks, consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai.

How Trademark Agents in Dubai Can Assist You?

Registering trademarks in different countries without knowledge about laws could cost the businesses dearly. An experienced IP firm in Dubai like Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) supports the businesses by sharing their expertise with the brand owners.  JIP serves its clients by providing them with the assistance of the best trademark agents in Dubai who are well-versed in trademark laws in various countries. Apart from assisting with trademark registration in the UAE, JIP guides the clients in registering their trademarks in countries like Israel, Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia etc.

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