Trade and Service Marks

A Trade or Service Mark is a distinctive sign; be it a name, signature, drawing or anything, which is used to distinguish similar goods or Services of various manufacturers or of such services providers.

Trade or Service Marks besides serving the owner or Services providers or products manufacturers to market their products or Services, they on the other hand help the consumers to identify, choose and finally purchase a product or service because of its quality as it has been displayed by the Trade or Service Mark owner over the years.

The Benefits of registration of a Trade or Service Mark

Registration of a mark gives an exclusive right to the use of that Mark by its proprietor or licensee also known as registered user, assignee and any other beneficiaries. This exclusive right is extended for the first/initial period of seven years and renewable for ten years consecutively. A person using an unregistered mark will most likely  infringe a registered mark and is at a risk of facing legal action which in the final analysis can make him/her bankrupt due to heavy penalties imposed against him/her. So, the best advice to manufacturing and trading communities is to play safe by registering their respective Trade and Service Marks to avoid those repercussions or impending undesirable consequences.

How to register a Trade or Service Mark

Application for registration of a trade mark/service mark is made by filling in and filing form TM/SM 2 accompanied by form TM/SM 3. The forms are available on BRELA website or from Trade and Service Mark Agents. The application forms together with about 8 loose representations of a mark are submitted to the Registrar. Upon receipt and payment of the application fees, examination is conducted, whereby if the Registrar accepts the mark the same is allowed to proceed to advertisement on the Journal published by the Registrar on monthly basis. If within sixty days of advertisement the Registrar does not receive any objection on the advertised Mark, he proceeds to issue the certificate of Registration upon payment of registration fee.

Post Registration Matters on Trade and Service Marks

  1. It has to be renewed after seven years. Any renewal thereafter lasts for ten years and then renewed consecutively
  2. Where the owner of the mark decides to assign it to someone else, this matter has to be communicated to the Registrar for registration and endorsement.
  3. Any change of name or address ought to be communicated to the Registrar. The same case applies to Mergers, Registered users (also known as licensing) and any other change in particulars registered.
  4. Make sure the mark conforms to laid down procedures stipulated by the Trade and Service Mark Act, Cap 326 [R.E.] 2002 and its Trade and Service Mark Regulations of 2000.
  5. Conduct search to make sure there is no similar or conflicting mark on record.
  6. Make sure the mark is distinctive, easy to read and acceptable with clear meaning which does not corrupt public morals