Some of IP Subkingdoms in a Nutshell

2019-10-28

It’s obvious that trademarks or marks for goods and services (as they are called in the Ukrainian Law) have become extremely popular within individuals and legal entities. The brightest evidence of is keen interest of clients to protect their right to identity and as a result – get profit.

Before you decide to address with Patent Attorney, you have certainly faced such terms as ‘trademark’, ‘commercial name’, ‘service mark’, ‘brand’ and their synonyms. You can find some of them on the website of USPTO, other ones – in the online magazine which at the same time tells us about scandalous news of Hollywood.

These terms aren’t identical. They belong to different kingdoms and subkingdoms. To define the place of each one, we need to look at them more precisely.

Commercial name – is name of the legal entity (there are some countries where we can see legal and commercial name of the legal entity at the same time). What is the common ground between trademarks and commercial names? It is important to remember that you can’t register the trademark which similar or identical with commercial name of the legal entity. Although commercial name gets independent protection, you still can register it as a trademark.

Trademark/ mark for goods and services. There is a huge kingdom where you can find marks, words, symbols, illustrations and sometimes smells. The main function of these elements is to distinguish goods and services from each other. These elements make goods and services remarkable. Trademark is what consumer sees on any product (trademark is also a thing that differentiates one product from another one). You can find favorite box of chocolates even if you don’t remember the producer name, its price or height of shelf where you saw it last time . How? Trademark will certainly help you.

Service mark. This term hasn’t been already used in the Ukrainian law. Nowadays term ‘trademark’ includes marks for goods and service marks at the same. It makes sense as certain producer can manufacture goods and provide service under the same trademark. There is International Classification of Goods and Services which includes 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services. However, you can find both ‘trademark’ and ‘ service mark’ on the website of USPTO. There is no difference between legal protection that is provided by trademark and legal protection that is provided by service mark. You should remember that the only difference is the area of usage.

We would like to make clearer what is the common ground of trademark and service mark. For instance, today LVMH has 75 productions (industries) in 6 different areas (spheres) from wine to legendary bags and watches. You may not even know that shoes Marc Jacobs and Sephora cosmetics are manufactured by one producer – LVMH. You won’t see mark LVMH on products, but LMVH has international registration in all classes to which their products belong.

Brand is not a legal phenomenon. ‘Brand’ functions in the area of associations. These associations are connected with goods or services that are offered to consumers under the certain trademark by certain producer. Brand or ‘stigma’ is indicator of how your ‘kingdom’ works. The spectrum of this kingdom is wide: commercial name, trademark and other elements that need IP protection. IP protection of your ‘kingdom’ is a way how you can act on the market correctly.