What is a trade mark and a service mark?

A trade mark is a distinctive symbol (eg. a word, logo, numerals, device or, label ) that identifies particular goods of a trader to the general public. A trade mark is also used to indicate the origin of goods and to distinguish the products of an individual or enterprise from those of others. On the other hand, a service mark is a logo used by the service industries to distinguish its services from those of another provider (e.g. entertainment, transportation, or travel agents.)

Why is the registration of a trade mark important?

Once a trade mark is registered, it is prima facie proof of ownership of the applicant. The proprietor of the registered trade mark will then have all the benefits, remedies and protection afforded by the Trade Marks Act., 1976.

Who can register a trade mark?

Companies, individuals, partnerships or lawful associates can be provided they met the requirements of the Trade Mark Act.

When should you apply for the registration of a trademark?

As soon as your mark is being used or intended to be used, you are advised to file your application. It must be noted that an early application is advisable because the date of registration dates from the day on which the application is lodged. An earlier lodged application has prima facie priority over later applications.

How long does it take for normal trademark registration?

The normal registration process will take approximately 18 months.

Could it be done quicker?

Pursuant to the Trade Mark (Amendment) Regulations 2011, the applicant may expect to secure the trade mark registration around 6 months and 3 weeks through a fast track process upon filing in the prescribed form and fee along with the reason.

How long is the Trademark registration valid for?

Under the new Trade Mark Registrations 1997, the trade mark registration is valid for ten (10) years from the date of application and is renewable for successive periods of every ten (10) years on payment of a renewal fee.

Does a local trade mark registration give protection in overseas countries?

No, a trade mark registered in Malaysia only gives protection in Malaysia. If you intend to export your goods overseas, a separate application must be made in each of the countries where you seek protection.

Can a trade mark filed in black and white or in colour?

You may file your trade mark application in black and white, greyscale or colour. Unless for a particular reason your trade mark is limited to a particular colour or colours, your rights extend to all colours.

Can you assign a trade mark during pendency of the application?

Yes. You can assign the mark during pendency of the application or after registration has been issued. However, the assignment will only take effect upon the registration of the application.

What is the difference between ® and TM?

The ® is the universally recognized symbol for a registered trade mark. If a trade mark is unregistered, the TM symbol is used.

Is it an offence to use the ®, if your trade mark is not registered?

Yes, it is an offence – pursuant to section 81 of the Trade Marks Act 1976.

Is there a penalty if the letters ™ are used?

No, however there is a penalty if ® is used on an unregistered trade mark.

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