Apply or register a trademark are generally confused with patent a trademark. In fact, it’s a common search and a very frequent subject of conversation. The answer is NO. A trademark cannot be patented; those are very different things. Only inventions can be patented (patents or utility models). Let’s try to understand these concepts.
First of all, Intellectual Property includes both trademarks and patents, so, in order to grasp the concept… What is Intellectual Property, and what does it protect?
Intellectual Property is a set of different rights obtained after submitting an application, meeting a series of requirements, passing audits and completing an administrative registration or licensing act valid for a fixed term (10 years for trademarks), but that may be renewed indefinitely. In the case of patents, it is usually 20 years starting from the application date.
This is the key: registration lets you use your registered rights, while prohibiting others from using it. In other words, by having exclusive use of what has been registered in a particular territory, the trademark or patent’s value increases. Otherwise, other people may know about your trademark, register it first, and mix or associate it with theirs.
What does Intellectual Property include, and how can we distinguish between them?
Intellectual property: distinctive signs, aesthetic creations, technical creations, trademarks, trade names, industrial designs, patents and utility models.
Hence, a distinctive sign is used to differentiate products or services, which leads to trade names and trademark registrations; while a technical creation (an invention, for example), is a patent; and a ‘minor invention’ is a utility model (which provides or enhances something which is already created)
Regarding aesthetic creation and industrial design, it focuses on the appearance or shape of a product, for example, the shape of the Coca-Cola glass bottle.
In conclusion, “a trademark cannot be patented”. It can only be registered to differentiate products and/or services from those of competitors, providing a unique identity.
To sum up…it is correct to talk about register a trademark
- A trademark cannot be patented, because it is a distinctive sign to differentiate products and/or services, whereas a patent is a technical creation with specific requirements.
- The main advantage of registering a trademark is using it in the market, and preventing third-parties from using it.
- Intellectual property is a broad subject, as it involves many different rights with differentiated requirements and procedures. Therefore, it is always advisable to seek professionals who are capable of identifying and analyzing the strategy or feasibility of registering a trademark.
If you want to comment on something, ask a question, or you just need more information regarding your intellectual property rights… do not hesitate! Call us, send us a message by chat or e-mail, and we will be happy to help you.