Basic Knowledge of Trademarks 

We often hear the questions about trademarks such as  what is a trademark? Why do we need to register the trademark?

We will answer such questions.

What is a trademark?

It refers to the mark used for your company / your products or services. What is protected as a trademark includes characters, figures, symbols, solid objects, movements, holograms, sounds, positions, colors, etc. If a trademark is registered in Japan, will it be protected in all countries of the world? The answer is no. It is only protected in Japan. If you want to use your own company / own mark with trademark rights held in foreign countries, it is necessary to register the trademark in that country in principle.

What is Madrid Protocol?

Madrid Protocol means an international treaty that provides for the international registration of trademarks. It is the procedure to submit one application document, prepared in a prescribed language, to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) via patent office in own country.

As a result, we can achieve the same effect as applying for each country at one time.

As of April 2019, 104 countries have acceded. Among ASEAN member countries, Malaysia and Myanmar do not accede at this time, and it is necessary to apply for trademark in each country.

What is a merit of trademark registration?

We will explain about merit which we can get by trademark registration.

Merit 1

Regarding specified products / services, nobody or no company can not use the same or similar trademark as the registered trademark freely.

You may be forced to discontinue use if someone arbitrarily uses the trademark and is found to have trademark infringement in court.

If you received damages due to someone used the trademark without your consent, you may claim damages to such party.

Merit 2

Conducting business safely

The person who made the trademark registration earlier gets the right.

Therefore, no matter how much you claim that you used the trademark first, if you have not registered and if others have registered the trademark first, there is a risk of being you sue for infringement of trademark right.

Preventing such risks is very important for doing business.

Merit 3

Establish and increase the credibility in the society

It is assumed that company A and company B use the same mark, and company A has registered the trademark.

In that case, which company do you trust? Most people will trust the company A which has the registered trademark. Social credit is important and affected to sales of goods and services.

Flow of Trademark Registration Each Country

Click on the map to see the flow of trademark registration in each country.