The Importance of Trademarks Protection I

Nowadays the competition between businesses in the market is considerably high. Such competition is further encouraged by various product differentiation strategies and the friction between businesses, especially in the marketing process of products and services alike. This is where Intellectual Property Rights come in as a solution.

In general, Intellectual Property Rights (IP Rights) is an exclusive right that adheres to the right holder, thus it gives the holder the distinction to utilize or make use of it in creating or producing the material form object. IP right according to the international organization specializing in intellectual properties, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is divided into two main categories, Copyright and Industrial Property. Industrial Property is further divided into patent, utility models, industrial design, Trademark, and indication of source or appellation of origin. Adding on to that classification, World Trade Organization (WTO) also includes new plant variety and layout designs of integrated circuits.

Unfortunately in Indonesia, the importance of IP Rights has not yet been truly recognized. Most people have this perception of IP Rights being something only big businesses should pay attention to. Oftentimes, businesses don’t realize that their Trademarks are being duplicated by other businesses or that they have no qualms on duplicating another’s Trademark.

Trademark is a kind of IP Right that is synonymous with businesses activities. Trademark, according to Article 1 of Law No. 15 Year 2001 on Trademark is a sign in the form of images, names, words, letters, numbers, collors or a combination of these elements which have distinguishing features and are used in the activity of trading goods and services. From that definition, we can take away an important point on Trademark which is that it is a distinguishing feature and its intended use is for trade activity. Thus Trademark is present as an identifier to distinguish a product from other products, and is used in business activities. With its function as an identifier, Trademarks indirectly guarantees the form and quality of a product, as well as the production value.

Therefore is it becomes clear why Trademarks need to be registered. Unlike Copyrights, Trademarks registration is not a matter of choice, it must be done as it serves essential purposes such as: as a main proof of ownership of right as well as a form of rejection and prevention against identical Trademarks. Hence it is apparent how negligence to register Trademarks will most likely end up in disputes over the Trademarks and consequently cause considerable loss.

Trademarks once registered are kept in the system for 10 years and can then be extended for another 10 years. The process to register a Trademark starts from writing an application letter to the Directorate-General of Intellectual Property or by seeking the help of an Intellectual Property Consultant and have them register the Trademark with Power of Attorney.

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