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Trademark (a distinctive sign for goods and services) commonly means a kind of a business card presented by the manufacturer to consumers by printing it on its products or package. In the legal aspect, trademark is one of the items of intellectual property. Trademarks are mainly intended to allow consumers to identify products and services offered by a manufacturer from those of the others.
A trademark should be selected and developed so that its features helped perform the primary trademark function and meet protectability and advertising ability requirements. Trademarks entitle their holders as follows:
• the right to use trademark as registered,
• the exclusive right to authorise third persons to use the trademark (to sell the licence),
• prevent others from using such trademark in respect of the same products and/or services or the trademark similar to the registered one to the extent that the new trademark is misleading or is likely to cause public confusion.
A trademark may consist of words or a combination of words, letters or figures, images, symbols, three-dimensional forms, including packaging, the shape of the product or its presentation, or colour combinations and any combination of the aforesaid elements. A trademark may also represent audio, such as music or any other sounds, odours or colours.
To avoid having to register a trademark in every national or regional office, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) administers a system of international trademark registration. This system is governed by two treaties: the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Madrid Protocol. Ukraine is a party to these treaties which enables Ukrainian applicants to obtain legal protection of their trademarks in different countries both under the national procedure and using the Madrid System. There is another exciting opportunity for Ukrainian applicants – they can get the European Community Mark. The mark is effective in all EU Member States and is issued for a period of 10 years renewable for further ten-year periods.
Which designations can be registered as trademarks?
• First, a designation that is able to distinguish the goods or services,
• Second, a designation that will not mislead consumers about the manufacturer, origin of the goods/services and about the goods and/or services as such;
• The restrictions for trademark registration are given in Section 6 of the Act.
Subject to Clause 4 Section 5 of the Act, the scope of the legal protection is defined by the image of the mark and the list of goods and services included in the National Register and is confirmed by the Certificate and an attached copy of the image of the mark and the list of goods and services included in the Register. The owner of the IP rights to the trademark can be any person, association of persons or their successors. The Certificate is issued to the applicant whose application has the earliest filing date or, where a priority is claimed, the earliest priority date, provided that such application is not deemed to be withdrawn, revoked or there is no decision to refuse the registration of the mark, which decision has an expired period for appeal.

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