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Apply for your trade mark in Jamaica first

In today’s global market and with the increase of e-commerce, a business will often look to other markets to sell its products and, as such, may wish to protect its trade marks in as many countries as possible.

A business will sometimes register its marks before using them in the market, and will take steps to conceal them from the public before the products or services are launched.

This could ensure that the resources expended by the business will have maximum impact on consumers, and will deny third parties the opportunity to (a) start using the marks in trade before the business itself launches its products or services in various markets, and (b) make applications to have the mark registered before the business itself files an application to register the trade mark. This could result in the third party being able to claim a prior right and bar the business’s application.

Not only is the registration of a trade mark vital, but the date when the application is filed is also significant. Why is the filing date important?

A trade mark application made at the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) is not accepted for registration if: 1) it is identical with an earlier trade mark, and the goods or services are identical to or similar with the goods or services for which the earlier trade mark is protected; or 2) it is similar with an earlier trade mark, and the goods or services in relation to which application for registration is made are identical or similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is registered; and if there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public, including the likelihood of association with the earlier trade mark.

Published in the Jamaica Observer
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