Businesses seeking the exclusive right to use intellectual property for commercial reasons must ensure they register a trademark, it has been claimed.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, trademarks provide protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment.

The period of protection varies, but a trademark can be renewed indefinitely beyond the time limit on payment of additional fees, the body explained.

“Trademark protection is enforced by the courts, which in most systems have the authority to block trademark infringement,” it stated.

In a larger sense, trademarks promote initiative and enterprise worldwide by rewarding the owners of trademarks with recognition and financial profit, WIPO claimed.

“Trademark protection also hinders the efforts of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, to use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or different products or services,” the organization added.

It said the system enables people with skill and enterprise to produce and market goods and services in the fairest possible conditions, thereby facilitating international trade.

WIPO: Trademarks help protect intellectual property
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