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What is a trademark? Why get a trademark registered?

A Trade or Service Mark is a name or other sign which serves to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the owner of the mark and the goods or services which he supplies. It is capable of being represented graphically; and distinguishing the good or services of one person from those of others and may include numerals, shape of goods, their packaging and combination of colours, etc. For many businesses Trade Marks are the very distinctive feature and is their most valuable asset.

Registration of a Trade Mark, which can last indefinitely, gives the proprietor, the exclusive right to use the mark in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered.

To be registrable a Trade Mark must be distinctive, i.e. not descriptive of the goods or services and should not conflict with other traders’ marks. However, it is possible for competitors to lawfully acquire and use your Trade Mark if it is not duly protected.