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What is a Trade Mark?

A trademark is a type of intangible asset for the trades and it normally consist of a recognizable mark, design (logo), or expression (a descriptive slogan) which identifies a product or a service from a particular source. If you are in business and you produce a product, you may want to put a distinguishing marking on it to tell others that it is from you. If it signifies a trade, then it is also called a service mark. But if it belongs to an individual, then it is just termed a trademark even though it might not involve any trading. For example if the Beatles were to trademark their kind of hair style, then that hairstyle will become their calling card, and nobody will be able to use that style unless with permission in that jurisdiction where protection is given


Origin of Trademark

The first legislative act concerning a trademark was passed in 1266 under the reign of King Henry III, who had gone on terms to require all bakers to use a distinctive mark for the bread they sold so that any bad low quality bread can be identified. It was an ingenious way to make sure that bakers donít run short in their offerings. The first modern trademark law was enacted in the late 19th century in France. The United Kingdom changed the system, and came up with The Trade Marks act 1938, permitting registration based on "intent-to-use".

A trademark will normally identify the brand (modern meaning of trademark) owner of a particular product or service. Trademarks is normally used by its owner but it can also be used by others under licensing agreements. The owner of a trademark may pursue legal action unto others whom he deemed has infringed on his marking, however this can only be done when a formal registration of the mark has been made with the authorities. A trademark is only protected in the territories that it has been registered but with the onset of the Madrid Protocol, protection of the mark can be enforced in 150 countries even though it has been registered in any of the countries that has acceded to the protocol. Registered trademarks are denoted by the letter "R" surrounded by a circle whilst those that has not been approved will have to just indicate "TM" as a show of sign that approval is pending. Protection normally last for ten years with further protection given subjected to paying a set fee.

Malaysia has already acceded to the Madrid Protocol , thus when you file it in Malaysia with an international application, you will get protection in 122 other countries just with one fee.


You might want to know what Trademarkings are registrable in Malaysia here

You may want to take a look at the Malaysian Trademark Flowchart


You may want to seek advisory on Trademarks at enqq2@iskandarproject.com (non free email account please)