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申請註冊歐盟商標的幾個注意事項

歐盟商標指的就是根據歐共體規定的條件而獲得註冊的商標,這樣的商標在歐盟範圍內都是有效的,可以用來識別和區分歐共體內的商品和服務。申請註冊歐盟商標是需要向歐盟商標局或者是歐盟成員國的商標局提出申請,接下來我們就來看看註冊歐盟商標要注意的幾個事項。

  • 如何理解歐盟商標的統一性?
    歐盟商標以及其註冊申請在整個歐盟是有效的,商標的申請以及相應的註冊都會自動延伸到25個成員國,因此將地域保護限定在某幾個成員國之間是不現實的。並且歐盟商標在註冊的時候會由歐共體內部市場協調局進行控制註冊,也就是說是不需要各個國家的工業產權局介入的。
  • 歐盟商標能超越單獨成員國的商標嗎?

歐盟商標註冊體系對其成員國的商標註冊體系是沒有任何影響,包括比利時、荷蘭、盧森堡等體系。企業是可以自由選擇,無論是單獨成員國商標還是歐盟商標,都可以根據自己的需要來選擇註冊。

  • 什麼樣的標記可以被註冊為歐盟商標?

歐盟商標是可以包含任何可以使用的圖表來代表的標記,尤其是文字,也包括人名、圖案、字母、數位、商品形狀或其包裝外觀等等,只要這些標記可以將一種商品或者是服務用途,與其他種類的用途分開即可。

所以以下的標記都是可以在註冊商標的時候使用的:

  • 包括字母、數位或是字母、數位和文字的組合形式的文字標記;
  • 含有或者不含有文字的圖形標記;
  • 彩色圖形標記;
  • 顏色或者是多種顏色的組合;
  • 聲音標記;
  • 三維立體標記。

以上幾點就是註冊歐盟商標的幾個注意事項,大家在註冊申請之前一定要瞭解清楚。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Why Hire An Attorney For Your Initial U.S. Trademark Application?

Filing a trademark application isn’t for the faint-hearted, so to speak, because of the time, energy and effort involved in understanding the trademark law, meeting the requirements of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and dealing with the subsequent actions (e.g., issuance of Office Action). For this reason, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney to take care of these matters in your behalf.

 

What can an experienced lawyer, particularly one with extensive experience in trademark laws, do for you?

 

Provide Appropriate Legal Advice

Of course, you can file the application on your own and request the USPTO examining attorney to provide tips that will expedite your application. But the USPTO attorney cannot provide legal advice even if he wants to because otherwise it will be a conflict of interest.

 

The trademark attorney, in contrast, will provide legal advice regarding your application and its related issues. You can get answers to questions like, “Is the mark protectable by the trademark laws? Are the class of products and/or services that the marks apply to identifiable? Are you able to take appropriate action when the USPTO refuses to register the mark?”

 

Think of your attorney as your main man in ensuring that your mark becomes registered and protected from infringement by others.

 

Conduct Searches on the Database

Again, you can search the state and federal databases for similar trademarks as the mark you’re seeking registration for. But it’s such a time-consuming process that you likely won’t have the time and energy for, perhaps not even the patience. Besides, you will likely have other business matters to attend to.

 

With an attorney on board, you can delegate the task to the professional. Your attorney will search the USPTO database of registered trademarks at the federal level, as well as other databases including the state registration database and the common law unregistered trademarks database. The comprehensive search is a must because even non-registered trademarks similar to your mark and used for selling products and/or services related to yours may well prevent you from registering, using and profiting from your mark, no matter if you think it was your original idea.

 

Protect Your Trademark Rights

Your attorney can also provide information that will deepen your understanding of your rights and responsibilities as a trademark owner. You will also be provided with relevant advice about the best ways to monitor and enforce your rights and responsibilities, especially in terms of others infringing on your mark. You should also remember that you may also be charged of infringing on other people’s trademarks and your attorney can provide legal assistance on this matter.

 

The crucial role of your attorney doesn’t stop with the initial application. You can also rely on him or her for meeting the registration maintenance documents, which should be filed on a regular basis. You can then maintain ownership over your mark, a must if you want to continue profiting from it.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

The Possible Grounds For Trademark Refusal

Keep in mind that not every initial application for a trademark will be granted approval. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), specifically the examining attorney assigned to your trademark application, can issue an Office Action outlining the substantive reasons for trademark refusal of your application. This brings us to the question: What are the possible substantive reasons that your trademark application can be refused?

 

Likelihood of Confusion

Keep in mind that the USPTO will conduct a search of its database for conflicting marks only after an initial application has been filed. The examining attorney will determine whether your trademark being applied for has a similar one either still pending or already registered in the USPTO database. The process can take several months so patience is necessary.

 

The marks and the related products and/or services between your mark and the marks of other entities don’t have to be exactly the same for conflict or confusion to be considered. Instead, it’s considered sufficient if both the marks and their related products and/or services are similar in nature. The similarity should be such that consumers will likely mistakenly believe that both of them come from the same source.

 

The similarity can be on anything from sound and appearance to meaning. These can include phonetic equivalents, T.J. Chicken and Tee-Jay Chicken; similar appearance even when one uses another stylized; and meaning like “Lupo” and “Wolf” with both having similar images.

 

Merely Descriptive

The USPTO’s examining attorney will also refuse trademark registration if it merely describes a quality, ingredient, function, characteristic, purpose, or feature of the product and/or service. For example, the mark “Creamy Yogurt” or “World’s Best Bagels” are unacceptable because these merely describe the products instead of being a distinctive brand.

 

Deceptively Misdescriptive

The mark registration application will also be refused if the mark itself misdescribes a quality, ingredient, function, characteristic, purpose, or feature of the product and/or service; and the misrepresentation being conveyed is possible. Examples include “THC Tea” for tea-based beverages without THC.

 

Both the merely descriptive and deceptively misdescriptive grounds for refusal also applies to primarily geographical circumstances. There are several instances when it happens including:

 

  • The mark’s primary significance is a generally known geographic location; the consumers/buyers will likely think that the products and/or services come from the place stated on the mark; and the mark identifies the specific place of origin of said products and/or services. This applies to merely descriptive marks.

 

  • In case of a deceptively misdescriptive mark, its primary significance is a generally known geographic location; the consumers/buyers will likely think that the products and/or services come from the place stated on the mark; the products and/or services don’t actually come from the stated place; and the misrepresentation will be a significant factor in the decision-making of consumers.

 

With these strict requirements, you are well-advised to hire an experienced trademark attorney and consultant so that your initial application will have a higher chance of being approved.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Can You Patent Your Invention?

The short answer: It depends on whether your invention meets the requirements stated by the Patent and Trademark Office. Not all patent applications will be recognized or registered even if the inventors insist otherwise. Not even well-known inventors with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of registered patents are assured that their pending applications will pass the stringent process.

What then can be patented? Let’s take a look at the factors that affect the success of your patent application, among other matters.

 

Four Requirements

According to the U.S. patent law, any individual who discovers, makes or invents any novel and useful machine, process, composition of matter, manufacture, or any novel and useful improvement on them may file for a patent. From the definition, the USPTO will grant a patent right if and when these four requirements are met:

 

  • The subject matter, such as a method or a machinery, should be patentable.
  • It must be new or novel.
  • It must have some usefulness or utility.
  • It must not be obvious.

 

You have to carefully consider whether you, indeed, have a patentable subject matter before filing its patent application. You may or may not be granted the patent but you likely won’t be given a refund if it isn’t granted – and the patent process is costly, too.

 

In terms of novelty, the invention should be new in the sense that it must be different from the existing knowledge in the public domain, in published applications, and from prior patents, among others; these are known as prior art.

 

The utility requirement is met by showing proof that the invention can physically accomplish something. In other words, it should work as the inventor intended or it produces actual results. In reality, the USPTO isn’t likely to challenge the patent based on utility unless its underlying logic has serious flaws.  Exceptions, such as on design patents that don’t need to meet the utility requirement, apply.

 

Concrete Evidence Required

While your idea seems novel, useful and unobvious, it cannot be protected by a patent. Instead, your idea must be embodied in one or more of these concrete manifestations, among others:

 

  • A method or a process, such as a new process for making concrete
  • A machine or machinery, typically with circuitry and/or moving parts (e.g., gears)
  • A manufactured item that accomplished a result with little to no moving parts
  • An asexually reproduced new plan variety
  • A new composition of matter, such as a new drug

 

Does your idea fall into one of these categories? You can’t be too sure even then because there are subject matters that are simply beyond the scope of patent laws. These include naturally-occurring substances (i.e., these cannot be invented); mathematical formulas (i.e., these may be copyrighted instead); laws of nature (i.e., man’s laws doesn’t apply to them); and processes that can be entirely performed with the human body (e.g., fool-proof technique for shooting a ball from the 3-point line).

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Crucial Things To Remember About Your Trademark Application

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) conducts an intensive examination of every trademark application submitted by individuals, groups and organizations. Keep in mind that registering your trademark, which can be an image, words or sound, can be a challenging task because of the strict requirements and process, especially if you’re taking it on your own.

We suggest that you hire an experienced trademark agent or attorney to handle the dirty work, so to speak. But it also pays to know the basics of the initial application process since it’s your trademark and the rights and responsibilities that come with it rests squarely on your shoulders.

 

Select Your Mark Properly

If you want to start the trademark registration process on the right foot, you have to select your mark properly. You have to choose it with extreme care since not every mark can be registered with the USPTO and not every mark can also be legally protected. In case of the latter, a mark may be unacceptable as a basis for a legal claim by its owner who wants to prevent others from using a similar mark on related products and/or services.

 

You don’t want to make the rookie mistake of submitting an initial application for your trademark only to find out that it cannot be registered. Aside from checking that, indeed, it can be registered, you have to determine the ease and effectiveness of protecting it based on its strength.

 

You have to take note, too, that USPTO isn’t responsible for the enforcement of your trademark – its primary function is to register trademarks and patents. You, the trademark owner, have the primary and exclusive responsibility for its enforcement including when others are using it to their commercial advantage.

 

You should also take note of the acceptable format of marks before submission to the USPTO. You must also precisely identify your products and/or services that the mark will be applied on.

 

Search the Database

Before you file a trademark application, you should also search the USPTO database for similar marks. Your main goal: To determine whether another individual or organization has already claimed trademark rights similar to your mark and used them on related products and/or services through a federal registration.

 

A clearance search will save costs on trademark registration, too, since the USPTO generally doesn’t grant refunds. Thus, even if your initial application isn’t approved for one reason or another, a refund check won’t be in your mail.

 

You must also know that any and all personal information submitted to the USPTO at any point in the application and registration process becomes public record. Your full name, phone number and e-mail address, and street address will be part of the public database, which may or may not be a cause for concern on your part.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

申請中國商標要注意什麼?

商標是商品的生產者和經營者為了讓自己生產或者經營的商品,與其他的商品區分開來而使用的一種標記。這種標記可以是中文、英文、數位或者是圖形,當然也可以是其中多種以上的組合。其實就是企業的品牌和牌子,那麼接下來我們就來看看申請中國商標要注意什麼?

申請前
若是個人來申請中國商標的話,需要個體戶營業執照以及個人的身份證。若是公司申請中國商標的話,則需要公司的營業執照。之後需要確定一個需要註冊的品牌名字或者是圖形標誌,建議大家最好是多備幾個以免他人已經搶先註冊了。

 

然後可以將確定好的商標名稱進行查詢檢索,看看該商標註冊成功的幾率大不大,要知道商標不是100%就可以註冊成功的,那麼在這之前也要做好心理準備。商標檢索完成若是風險不高的話,之後就可以進行申請了。

 

申請中
需要將用到的註冊資料整理好,交給代理機構他們就可以幫你在網上進行申報,網上申報的速度是比較快的,並且也能保證申請商標的權利,現如今基本上所有的代理機構都是通過網上進行商標註冊申請申報的。

 

要注意的是只有經過國家商標局備案的代理機構,才擁有在網上進行商標申報的資質,因此大家在選擇商標註冊代理機構的時候,一定要注意這個代理機構是否經過了國家商標局的備案。

 

申請後
一般來說中國商標的有效期都是10年,在期滿前的一年若是你需要繼續使用的話,那麼就要對商標進行續展了,續展的時間仍舊是10年。若是在期限內沒有完成續展的話,那麼你的商標就失效了。

 

同時註冊成功的商標若是不使用的話,可以進行轉讓賣給他人也能得到一些經濟收益。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Mistakes Derailing Your Trademark Application

Yes, you may have a unique trademark – or at least, you think you have it. But before making brash decisions, you should take a step back and remember that the Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t mess around when it comes to the registration process. You may think that it’s easy enough, especially after reading countless articles on the subject matter, but it isn’t because of the strict filing requirements and the bureaucratic procedures.

Arguably, the worst mistakes that you can do before filing a trademark application are these two things.

 

Not Hiring An Experienced Trademark Agent or Attorney

Keep in mind that the trademark application process is a legal proceeding protected by the trademark laws. As such, individuals, groups and organizations can be subjected to penalties including fines, surcharges and suspensions in case of violations of trademark laws.

 

As such, it’s of crucial importance to hire an experienced agent or attorney with a valid license to practice trademark law. Better yet, hire an experienced trademark agent or attorney with a proven track record of success in the field, if you want to increase your chance of success in getting your trademark registered.

 

Of course, you can file the application on your own but there are many pitfalls to such a do-it-yourself approach. You may well find that the documentary requirements can be voluminous and stringent while the process can be bureaucratic. You won’t likely have the right knowledge and skills to deal with the legal process and, thus, make a mess of it.  Your trademark application can be delayed and its registration jeopardized.

 

Not Checking That Your Mark Can Be Registered

Your trademark application must be in compliance with many legal requirements before it can be approved for registration. You don’t just fill in the forms, whether you’re filing online or in paper, even if you’re in a hurry to claim the mark (i.e., competitors are using a similar one), lest you find yourself in a bind.

 

In this regard, you have to ask yourself several questions including:

  • Can your mark actually be registered under the rules and regulations?
  • Can you identify the good and/or services covered by your mark?
  • Can you determine the filing basis for your initial application?

 

Your trademark agent or attorney can answer these questions and provide guidance on several related matters.  With your trademark registered, you have the assurance that your brand names including the slogans and logos used on your products and/or services will be protected from unauthorized use by other entities.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

如何註冊香港商標?

香港法律對商標申請人主體的資格是沒有特殊要求的,只要是自然人或者是法人團體都可以申請註冊香港商標。並且法律也沒有規定商標申請人必須要使用自己申請的商標,只要申請人在註冊的時候指出使用或者是擬使用就可以了。那麼接下來我們就來看看如何註冊香港商標。

第一步:香港商標查詢

主要就是查詢香港商標是否重複,從香港知識產權署那裡就可以得到商標註冊記錄的報告,以及是否可以進行註冊的初步意見。之後再到政府申請查詢服務,這樣整個申請註冊過程的風險都被降低了。

第二步:確定香港商標名稱及設計

商標的名稱一定要避免和商品的功能聯繫在一起,而商標的設計更要突出商品的主題並且要合理佈局。

第三步:提交申請

申請人需要提交的資料一定要全面,包括申請人資格證明資料、清晰的商標圖樣以及委託辦理合同等,同時也需要繳納相關的費用。

第四步:受理通知

香港知識產權署在收到商標註冊申請資料之後,就會給予你一個申請的編號,之後就會發放受理通知書,前後時間不會超過一個星期。

第五步:進行審查

在審查的過程中,香港商標註冊處會查詢有關商標,是否符合《商標條例》所制定的註冊規定。

第六步:註冊成功

商標在註冊申請被核准之後,就會將該商標的詳細記錄在冊,並且也會向申請人發出商標註冊證明書。

 

註冊香港商標的詳細流程就是這六步,註冊香港商標可以通過自行辦理或者是委託商標代理機構進行辦理,若是缺乏這方面的專業知識及辦理經驗的話,找專業的商標代理機構來辦理會更加順利,保障更全面。

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

The Types Of United States Patents Explained Briefly

According to the United States patent law, inventors can secure and protect their rights to their works by applying for a patent. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) classifies patents into four different types and an inventor can apply for one or two patents, such as a utility patent and provisional patent.

Utility Patent

When people think of a patent, it’s most likely that they are referring to or thinking of a utility patent. Keep in mind that a utility patent is a lengthy technical document with details about the use of a new machine, system, or process. The document can contain descriptions, drawings and images of the invention, a must for its registration.

 

Congress defines the kinds of inventions covered by utility patents. But with Internet-delivered software, the Internet of Things, and genetic engineering, among other emerging technologies, the definition is being challenged.

 

Provisional Patent

Under the patent law, an inventor can file a less formal document as proof that he was in possession of the invention and he had sufficient knowledge of how to make it work (i.e., the utility requirement). This is known as a provisional patent, which goes hand in hand with a utility patent.

 

Let’s say that you filed a provisional patent for your invention. When it’s on file, your patent is considered as pending and you have the applicable property rights to your invention. You should file a formal utility patent within one year from filing the provisional patent.

 

Design Patent

The design patent doesn’t need to meet the utility requirement since it protects decorative design on a utilitarian item. The typical design patent document consists almost entirely of drawings or pictures with a few words and, thus, these are notoriously difficult to search on the USPTO database.

 

This can be applied for a wide range of ideas and items. These include the design for shoes, the shape of a designer bottle, and even user interfaces.

 

Plant Patent

A plant patent is obviously designed to protect new types of plants that have been produced through non-sexual methods, such as cuttings. Emphasis must be made that it generally covers conventional horticulture and not genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

 

You don’t have to be limited to filing a single patent on an invention. You can actually file two patents for a single item!

 

You may file a provisional patent on your invention so you have one year to decide when and how to file its related utility patent.  In doing so, you’re expanding patent protection and mitigating your risk of another person claiming the same or similar invention.

 

Regardless of the type of patent you chose, your main goal is to protect your invention from infringement by others. You will then have a higher chance of getting a good return on your investment once you start profiting from your invention.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

Mistakes Derailing Your Trademark Application

Yes, you may have a unique trademark – or at least, you think you have it. But before making brash decisions, you should take a step back and remember that the Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t mess around when it comes to the registration process. You may think that it’s easy enough, especially after reading countless articles on the subject matter, but it isn’t because of the strict filing requirements and the bureaucratic procedures.

Arguably, the worst mistakes that you can do before filing a trademark application are these two things.

 

Not Hiring An Experienced Trademark Agent or Attorney

Keep in mind that the trademark application process is a legal proceeding protected by the trademark laws. As such, individuals, groups and organizations can be subjected to penalties including fines, surcharges and suspensions in case of violations of trademark laws.

 

As such, it’s of crucial importance to hire an experienced agent or attorney with a valid license to practice trademark law. Better yet, hire an experienced trademark agent or attorney with a proven track record of success in the field, if you want to increase your chance of success in getting your trademark registered.

 

Of course, you can file the application on your own but there are many pitfalls to such a do-it-yourself approach. You may well find that the documentary requirements can be voluminous and stringent while the process can be bureaucratic. You won’t likely have the right knowledge and skills to deal with the legal process and, thus, make a mess of it.  Your trademark application can be delayed and its registration jeopardized.

 

Not Checking That Your Mark Can Be Registered

Your trademark application must be in compliance with many legal requirements before it can be approved for registration. You don’t just fill in the forms, whether you’re filing online or in paper, even if you’re in a hurry to claim the mark (i.e., competitors are using a similar one), lest you find yourself in a bind.

 

In this regard, you have to ask yourself several questions including:

  • Can your mark actually be registered under the rules and regulations?
  • Can you identify the good and/or services covered by your mark?
  • Can you determine the filing basis for your initial application?

 

Your trademark agent or attorney can answer these questions and provide guidance on several related matters.  With your trademark registered, you have the assurance that your brand names including the slogans and logos used on your products and/or services will be protected from unauthorized use by other entities.

 

資料來源: CtR智群知識產權事務所

 

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