23/02/2015 am28 11:25am
The trademark (the Romanian version of the brand) is a sign which allows the consumer to distinguish between two or several identical or similar products.
Of course, when the products do not differ very much, the consumer has no problem in recognizing them; for example, when we have a vehicle, a lathe, a printer, a magazine or a pack of biscuits, the consumer needs no helping sign in order to distinguish between the above mentioned products.
But if the products are identical– for example two TV sets belonging to two producers and which have similar technical features (similar carcasses), the consumer will have difficulties in choosing one of the products; in this case, the trademark is the additional sign which allows the consumer to distinguish between identical or similar products.
It is known that the person who purchases a certain product/service (the buyer) is willing to pay an additional amount hoping that the product or the service purchased will satisfy his demands; if his demands are satisfied, the consumer will continue to buy that product and to recommend it to other potential clients. Thus, the conclusion is that a trademark is more valuable if:
- more buyers purchase products having the respective trademark,
- buyers are willing to pay more for these products than for similar products having a different trademark.
The evaluation of a trademark does not differ very much from the evaluation of a tangible asset (such as a building or a tool), as it actually measures the capacity of the respective asset to create future benefits (profits). In particular, the difficulty of the evaluation consists specifically in proving the existence and the stability of the trademark: if a tool can be examined and evaluated on the spot in the factory yard, for a trademark the situation is completely different – the trademark is in the mind of millions of consumers and cannot be kept in a storehouse.
Even though there are not many statistics in this respect, it is known that for business-to-business, IT or pharmaceutical affairs, the importance of the trademark weighs less than other assets. On the other hand, for fast moving consumer goods the trademark is, in most cases, the main asset, having an importance which can exceed 50%, thus being higher than the other assets altogether.
Even though almost all companies understand the importance of using trademarks in order to differentiate their products from others, not all of them understand the importance of their protection through registration (obtaining the patent).
The registration– according to the law in force– offers a company exclusive rights for the use of the respective trademark and prevents other companies from commercializing identical or similar products under the same trademark or under a similar trademark which may create confusion among consumers.
Without registration, the investments of an organization can be wasted because rival companies can use the same trademark or similar trademarks for similar or identical products. In this case, consumers can be misled and they can buy the product of the rival company believing it is the product of a certain producer.
The consequences – in such circumstances – can consist in the decrease of the company’s profit, in confusion among its clients and even damages to its image and reputation, especially if the product of the rival company is inferior.
Taking into consideration the value of the trademarks and the importance they have in determining the success of certain products, it is necessary that the companies make sure the trademarks they are using are registered on the markets where the products or the services are being commercialized.
Only in these conditions a trademark can offer full protection to its holder, giving him the exclusive right to use it for certain products or services or to enable a third party to use it in exchange of an amount of money.
It is commonly thought that, by registering the scope of activity and the commercial name at Trade Register, the latter will be protected as a trademark. It is a false opinion and it is, unfortunately, widely spread!
The commercial name is the whole name of the company, with which the company identifies – a company can have only one commercial name, whereas the trademark is the sign which distinguishes the product/service made/provided by a company from other similar ones.
A company can have several trademarks or can use a certain trademark in order to identify its products or a certain range of products.
The principle used for the registration of trademarks is „first-come, first-served”; The State Office for Inventions and Trademarks does not check if the person who wants to register a trademark is the actual holder of that trademark.
The conclusion is that, by registering its trademark (which presupposes paying some relatively small fees), a company protects itself from competition attacks.
For more information or for registering a trademark, please visit our contact page.