Important: This information doesn’t constitute professional legal advice. Consult with independent legal counsel for information specific to your region or country and circumstances.
This article is part of the Intellectual Property at Wikifactory series, in which we explore different types of intellectual property and how they can be part of your Wikifactory projects.
What are trademarks?
Trademarks or service marks are signs such as brands used in trade to identify products.
Your trademark is the symbol your customers use to pick you out. It distinguishes you from your competitors. You can protect and build upon your trademark by using it frequently and registering it.
The only condition imposed on a registered trademark is that it must be clearly defined; otherwise, neither you nor your competitors will be certain of what it covers.
For example, the image you can see on the top left of this page is a figurative mark that represents Wikifactory.
Do I need to register a trademark?
Yes, it's highly recommendable to register a trademark. In some countries, you can also get protection even if your trademark is not registered, as long as it is used. However, you are well-advised to register it in order to obtain the best protection.
Trademarks can be registered at the national level if you only trade in one country. You can also register a trademark in all EU countries with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) or internationally with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
How long does trademark protection last?
In most countries, trademark protection lasts 10 years, starting from the date of your trademark application. You can then renew your trademark protection for 10 years each time, for as long as you like. When you own a trademark, you can sell it to someone else or give them permission to use it through a trademark licensing agreement.
Trademark infringement refers to using works that are trademarked without authorization from the owner. The owner of the trademark has exclusive rights to use and market itself with trademarks.
If you believe that there's content on Wikifactory that infringes your intellectual property, please check our article on how to Report Intellectual Property infringement
Trademarks at Wikifactory
As mentioned in our Terms of Service, all users must use the platform in a way that does not violate any applicable laws, including trademark laws.
The user is responsible for making sure that the use of the Platform and the service is in compliance with laws and any applicable regulations.
This includes that all users will not under any circumstances upload, post, host, or transmit any content that infringes on any proprietary right of any party, including patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of publicity, or other rights.
FAQ: How is a trademark infringed?
Trademarks that have been registered usually include the ® or TM after the mark.
You can infringe a trademark by using a similar one for identical or similar products and services by causing confusion on the public. This includes the case where the public believes that similar trademarks identify products that come from the same source, even though they're different.