Original print also known as a trade mark, is a mark that distinguishes goods or services of a particular company from services or goods of the same kind of other entrepreneurs. A trade mark can be a drawing, word, colour composition, ornament, melody or other sound signal, plastic form as well as a combination of these elements (Dyer 2012, p. 2) . Original print is a letter R written in a circle. Returning to the substance, however, the character ® should be read as an abbreviation for "registered". If such a sign is placed next to a trade mark, it indicates that the trade mark has been filed with the relevant Patent Office and enjoys far-reaching protection. It should be emphasized that the protection in this case concerns the trademark and not the whole product (Dyer 2012, p. 2) . An original print may be any sign that can be represented graphically (in particular a word, a drawing, an ornament, a colour composition, a spatial form, including the form of goods or packaging, as well as a melody or other sound signal), if such a sign is capable of distinguishing the goods of one company from the goods of another company in the course of trade (Richardson, 2008 p. 5-8). Moreover, it should be pointed out that the affixing of a sign is not obligatory and is only informative in nature. An undertaking may or may not have to affix the letter R inscribed in a circle in the vicinity of its original print in order to benefit from officially granted protection. On the other hand, it is forbidden to mark with a symbol an original print that has not been registered under penalty of fine (Richardson, 2008 p. 5-8) .
Special protection rights are granted for trademarks. The duration of the right of protection for a given trademark is 10 years, counted from the date of filing the trademark application with the Patent Office. By obtaining the right of protection, the applicant acquires the exclusive right to use the trade mark in a professional or profit-making manner (Packard, 2010 p. 162.) . The exclusive right to use the trade mark includes, among other things, the right to: place the trade mark on goods covered by the protection right or their packaging, to offer or provide services under the trade mark and to use the trade mark for advertising purposes. A trademark may also be applied for registration abroad after filing it with the Patent Office. This application should be filed in accordance with the generally applicable rules and in accordance with the international agreements in force in our country (Packard, 2010 p. 162.)
Original print property
Any legal entity, i.e. a legal person as well as a natural person and a handicapped legal person, is entitled to acquire the right of protection for a given trademark, regardless of the legal form in which it conducts its activity, be it professional or business (Bently 2008 p. 12-15.) .
Registration of original print
The first step in registering trade mark protection is to choose the right mark and to draw up a list of goods or services for which the trade mark is to be applied. You have to choose one of several forms of trade mark. It is important that the form of the mark meets the requirements of abbreviativeness, communicativeness and expressiveness. Depending on the form of the mark, it is represented differently (Bently 2008 p. 12-15.) . Where a trade mark is identified by means of an inscription, number, letter or colour composition in that form, it should be included in the application. If the trade mark is composed of several separate parts, those parts must be represented next to each other in such a way as to represent the actual arrangement of the goods in question. Where the trade mark is in a spatial form, it must be represented either by a drawing depicting its general appearance or by making several drawings which show its characteristics in different planes (Bently 2008 p. 12-15.) . If the trade mark is in the form of a melody, it must be transposed into a musical notation allowing it to be reproduced in the form of a sound. If the original print is coloured, it must be represented in colours, including a list of the colours used.
List of goods
It is very important to draw up a list of goods and services for which the trade mark is to be valid. When drawing up the list of goods, it is also necessary to indicate the classes of goods, referred to as 'classes of goods', in accordance, of course, with the classification adopted under the Nice Agreement. The list of goods should be ordered according to the classes of goods in ascending order. When drawing up the list of goods and services, it is important to list not only the goods currently covered by the mark, but also the potential future use of the mark. The list of goods for which the mark is applied for is important because it determines the scope of its protection (Bently 2008 p. 12-15.).
Application to the Patent Office
The next step is to file an application with the Patent Office. This application should contain the following information: the applicant's data, application for protection of the trade mark, identification of the trade mark, indication of the goods for which the trade mark is intended, the applicant's or representative's signature, proof of priority if the applicant applies for a prior priority (Richardson 2001, p. 7-9). Five photographs or prints of the trade mark represented or expressed at least in part in the form of a drawing or drawings or composition must be provided together with the application. In the case of colour trade marks, 2 photographs or prints in black and white should also be provided. Where the trade mark is expressed in sound: 2 copies of a CD tape with recorded sound or other electronic medium which will contain a sound recording. However, if letters or numbers other than Latin alphabet or numbers other than Roman or Arabic numbers are used, transliterations into Latin alphabet letters and Arabic or Roman numerals should be provided. In the case of applying for registration of the right of protection for a joint trademark, the regulations for the use of the trademark should also be presented (Richardson 2001, p. 7-9). If the trade mark contains the names or coats of arms of voivodships, towns or localities, signs of organisations of law enforcement, paramilitary or armed forces, reproductions of orders, badges or honorary or military decorations or other commonly used decorations, such as local or government administration or social organisations; abbreviations or names or symbols of foreign countries or international organisations and any official signs or stamps accepted in other countries, a document should be presented which confirms the right to use these signs in the registered trade mark. An application for protection of a trade mark may be filed in person or through a professional representative, who may be a patent attorney in this case. Apart from professional preparation of an application, including a list of goods, a patent attorney may also carry out an examination of the so-called registration capacity of a trade mark and assess the chances for its registration. Such an examination can prevent an entrepreneur from paying application fees if the trade mark has no chance of obtaining protection. If the applicant acts through a representative, he or she should also attach a power of attorney. An application fee must also be paid when filing the application (Richardson 2001, p. 7-9).
Termination of the right to original print
The right of protection for a trade mark expires if:
- the period for which the right of protection has been granted expires - i.e. 10 years from the date of filing the trade mark application
- a person entitled to waive the right of protection before the Patent Office
- he right holder does not actually use the registered trade mark for the goods specified in the application for a continuous period of 5 years (this is done on the basis of a decision of the Patent Office)
- the mark loses its distinctive character
- the trade mark acquires the character of a mark which confuses the characteristics, nature or geographical origin of the mark, where that result is attributable to acts of the proprietor (Bently 2008 p. 12-15.).
Examples of Original print
- Logos: Many companies use logos as part of their original prints – such as the iconic Nike swoosh, the golden arches of McDonald's, or the apple of Apple Computers.
- Product Packaging: Product packaging is another way companies use original prints. Companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Hershey's are instantly recognizable by their product packaging.
- Slogans: Slogans are also a popular method of original print. McDonald's “I'm lovin' it” and Nike's “Just do it” are two of the most popular slogans used in original prints.
- Color palette: Color palettes are also a popular form of original print. For example, Tiffany & Company's signature blue, or the red and white stripes of the Target logo.
- Fonts: Fonts are another form of original print. The font used by Coca-Cola, for instance, is instantly recognizable and iconic.
- Sounds: Sounds are also used in original prints. The Intel “bong” is one of the most recognizable sound clips in the world.
Advantages of Original print
Original print has a number of advantages, including:
- Increased brand recognition: Original prints are an effective way to increase brand recognition, as they are unique and memorable. This can help to differentiate a product or service from competitors, and create an emotional connection with customers.
- Protection from counterfeiting: Original prints can help to protect a company’s products from counterfeiting by providing a unique identifier that can be traced. This helps to protect the company’s brand and reputation, and can help to reduce the impact of counterfeits on their bottom line.
- Increased customer loyalty: Original prints can create a sense of loyalty among customers, as customers are more likely to purchase products associated with a recognizable logo or design. This can help to create a loyal customer base and increase sales.
- Improved customer service: Original prints can help to improve customer service, as they can help to quickly identify a particular product or service. This can help to reduce confusion and improve customer satisfaction, as customers can easily identify what they are buying.
Limitations of Original print
A trade mark, while being a useful way to distinguish goods of one company from those of another, is not without its limitations. These include:
- Lack of legal protection: Trade marks are not legally protected in all countries, meaning that companies may not be able to enforce their rights to the trade mark in those countries.
- Difficulty in registering: In some countries, trade marks are difficult to register and may require extensive paperwork.
- Cost: Registering a trade mark can be expensive, and companies may also have to pay fees to maintain the registration.
- Infringement: Trade marks can be infringed upon, meaning that other companies may use the same or similar marks and pass off their products as that of the original company.
- Limited scope: Trade marks are typically limited to a particular sector, meaning that they may not be effective in preventing the use of the mark in other sectors.
The Original print can also be associated with other approaches, such as:
- Branding: Branding involves the use of visual and verbal elements to create an image or identity for a product or service. This includes logo designs, typography, colour palettes and even slogans.
- Advertising: Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take a desired action, such as purchasing a product or service. It often involves the use of creative visuals and messages, such as print or digital ads, to reach the desired audience.
- Web Design: Web design is the process of creating a website and its visual presentation. This includes the creation of a layout for the site, the selection of colours and fonts, and the use of interactive elements, such as search bars and buttons.
- Social Media Design: Social media design is the use of visuals and messages to create a presence on social media platforms. This can include creating profile and cover photos, creating images to accompany posts, and using logos and graphics to create a consistent brand identity.
In summary, Original print is associated with other approaches such as branding, advertising, web design, and social media design, all of which involve the use of visuals and messages to create a unique identity and promote a product or service.
- Bently, L.(1860-80), "The Making of Modern Trade Marks Law: The Construction of the Legal Concept of Trade Mark", p. 12-15
- Dyer Jr. R.W.,(2012), Facts and Holding"Monetary Damages under the Lanham Act: Eighth Circuit Holds Actual Confusion is Not a Prerequisite", p.2
- Packard, A. (2010). "Digital Media Law. John Wiley and Sons" p. 162
- Richardson, G. (April 2008),National Bureau of Economic Research"Brand Names Before the Industrial Revolution" p. 2-8
- Richardson, G. (2002),"Guilds, Laws, and Markets for Manufactured Merchandise in Late Medieval England", p. 7-9
Author: Natalia Jaskot