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Registering brands & trademarks in Asia and associated hosting services


Trademark Search

Before spending a lot of money launching a new trademark and arranging for its protection, it's highly recommended to conduct a Trademark Search (also called a trademark availability search, a trademark clearance search, or a trademark comprehensive search). A simple online search will give you a good indication if the proposed mark is already in use.

However, an online search will not reveal all relevant information about previously registered similar and identical trademarks. It's possible that others have an older identical or similar trademark, entitling them to object to the use and registration of your proposed trademark. In a worst-case scenario, you can be forced to stop the use of your mark and can be held liable for infringing on the prior right of another party.

Trademark Search is the best way to find out if a trademark is available for use and is vital for the success of a trademark.

Why conduct a trademark search?

  • A search helps to ensure that the use of a proposed trademark will not infringe upon the rights of another party and thus reduces the risk of any challenge or lawsuit from the owner of prior trademark (or trade name) rights;

  • A search will also help to determine if you can register your mark, by signaling applications or registrations that might block the application of your mark because they are identical or similar to the proposed mark;

  • By conducting a search you can avoid high expenses in view of launching your mark and filing for registration;

  • If your mark is not available, a search will help to reduce the risk of being sued, and possibly be able to apply in such a way that it may avoid objections based on potential obstacles identified by the search;

  • A trademark search also can help answer other questions, including whether a proposed trademark is distinctive or diluted, and which trademarks a particular company owns.

What to expect from the trademark search?

Before conducting the trademark search, we will contact you to obtain and confirm all relevant information.

As a result of the trademark search, we will send you an extensive search report drawn up based on the specific search criteria for verbal and visual elements. We will not only list similar trademarks (graphic/phonetic) that may conflict with yours, but will also give you our expert opinion on the registration possibilities. Our trademark search service also includes an attorney opinion letter, which explains the search results and how they may affect your trademark rights and the trademark registration process.

In view of the many subjective and legal requirements and assessments that are involved in questions of infringement, we are not able to give you an absolute guarantee of the availability of a trademark. However, a trademark search will certainly give you an idea of potential objections and whether or not these are within acceptable limits.



Trademark Registration

In most countries in the world, the use of a trademark will not give you any exclusive rights to that trademark nor will it give you any legal protection against unauthorized use of that mark by third parties. 

Why register a trademark?
In most countries in the world, the use of a trademark will not give you any exclusive rights nor will it give you any legal protection against the use of that mark by others. In principle, only on the basis of a registration will you acquire exclusive rights to a trademark. Having a registered trademark does not only increase the value of your business, it also comes with penalties for would-be infringers; this serves as a big deterrent to copycats and counterfeiters. Because trademark protection is mainly bound by territory, your rights are confined to those countries in which your mark was applied for and registered. Therefore, you need to protect your trademark in all countries where your mark is or will be used.

In short, the most important benefits for the registration of your trademark are:

  • You gain the exclusive right to use the trademark in the territory of registration to promote the goods and/or services that it covers.

  • The legal protection for a registered trademark will deter others from trying to imitate your brand or benefit from its success.

  • Your mark is registered in the (publicly) searchable trademark registers/ databases. Other businesses intending to register the same or a similar trademark can see that your mark is protected.

  • You can sue for infringement if a business or person uses the same or a ‘confusingly similar’ mark on the same or similar goods/services.

  • The registration process in some countries helps to ensure that you will not infringe on the rights of a similar registered mark.

  • Once your mark is successfully registered, you are protected from others claiming you may be infringing upon their mark.

  • A registered trademark adds value to your business in the form of ‘goodwill’ that can increase substantially over time as the mark becomes established in the market.

  • As your registered and protected property, you can sell or assign the trade mark to another person or business, or license its use to other parties.

If you do not register your mark you stand to lose out on the legal protection and other benefits listed above. An unregistered mark is also harder to protect because you must rely on the law of passing off or local laws. Such actions can be more difficult to prove and can involve lengthy and costly litigation.

The trademark application process
For more information about trademark registration requirements and procedures per country, please refer to our country pages. Although each country has its own trademark application process, most procedures consist of the following steps:

  • 1. Filing for application;
    2. Formal examination by trademark authority;
    3. Subsequent examination by trademark authority – the trademark authority will
        examine if your mark is eligible for trademark registration as per universal and
        local trademark requirements;
    4. Possible search of similar trademarks by the trademark authority;
    5. Acceptance and publication of the trademark or (provisional) refusal;
    6. Opposition phase for third parties. After acceptance and publication, third parties      have a limited time-frame to oppose the registration of your trademark by filing      for an opposition;
    7. Registration and issuance of registration certificate.

In case of a refusal or opposition, our experienced attorneys will guide you every step of the way to successfully register your trademark.

Once your trademark is registered, you will have the exclusive right to use your mark for a set period of time, usually 10 years (depending on the country of protection). Your trademark can be renewed once the expiration date is near. At Trademarkhost we will handle the filing of your mark, carry out all necessary tasks before the Trademark authority in order to obtain registration approval and handle all the necessary after registration tasks. We will manage your mark for the period of protection (and renew when needed), watch your mark, and if needed, act against possible copycats and counterfeiters.

Please be informed that we strongly encourage our clients, prior to a Trademark Registration, to perform a Trademark Search. Be aware that once you have a registered trademark, you need to continue enforcing your trademark rights. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to order our Trademark Watch Service.

Why choose Trademarkhost?
The unique benefit of our Trademarkhost registration service is that we have over 120 Trademarkhost-agents in every corner of the world. Our experienced attorneys can inform you about the general outlines of trademark protection and the trademark specifics per country. We can conduct free identical searches (where possible) to see if your trademark is available in a certain country. We can also advise you about the additional requirements for specification of classes, especially when a local authority tends to be very strict regarding the classification.

Even more important, we have one simple mission: making trademark registration accessible worldwide to everyone. That mission also involves informing our clients on all aspects of trademark protection prior to the filing of a trademark by our complementary Pre-registration advice, including:

  • Pre- acceptance check: We will screen if your trademark is eligible for registration as per the universal absolute grounds and local requirements for trademark protection.

  • Identical search: If possible, we will conduct a free identical search to find out if your trademark is available and identify any pre-existing trademarks that may affect the registration of your mark.

  • Filing strategy advice: Based on your future goals and wishes, we will determine the relevant protection category (class) as well as the best strategy and options to register your mark.

Before we can provide you with our Pre-registration advice, we kindly ask you to send us the following information:

  • 1. Trademark (name or logo);
    2. A description of the products and/or services that the trademark will be used for;
    3. Additional information about any prior trademark registrations, and all relevant
        countries for which protection is preferred (now and in the near future).


Trademark Watch

Trademark Registration is only the first step in protecting your trademark. Enforcing your exclusive trademark right is the second one. Having a trademark watch is an essential element of good trademark management. It is the most effective way to keep track of new applied marks and prevent them from registration. There are thousands of new applications filed worldwide every day. It is almost impossible to manually monitor all new applied marks yourself. This is where we, “your trademark host”, can help you.

The importance of a Trademark Watch
There are several reasons why a Trademark Watch subscription is important:

  • In many countries, the trademark authority does not check to see if a new application conflicts with older trademark applications or registrations. It is up to the owners of an older trademark to watch for publications of conflicting new applications and object within a set timeframe if appropriate. If you do not file an objection against infringing marks in a timely manner, you might lose the right to do so at all;

  • If third parties obtain registration of an identical or similar mark to yours, for similar goods or services, you may have difficulty in preventing them from selling competing goods or services under that mark;

  • In countries where the trademark authority does carry out an examination search for existing applications and registrations, it sometimes happens that applications proceed to publication despite the existence of earlier rights. The watch should detect such applications;

  • In many countries, the right to a trademark is primarily given by registration rather than by being the first user. Thus if you are using a mark in a country without registration for the relevant goods or services, a registration for that mark by a third party may block you from continuing to use the mark in that country. A watch should alert you if such a situation arises;

  • Early detection of trademark infringement is important if you wish to meet the deadlines associated with submitting oppositions or objections in order to make sure that a possible conflicting mark will not get registered. In most countries, the period to file an opposition is two to three months. Without a trademark watch, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all new published trademarks worldwide and be aware of all deadlines.

The Trademarkhost Watch Service
The Trademarkhost Watch service is an effective monitoring program. For a fixed annual fee, we will carefully ‘watch’ your trademark and help you uncover a wide range of potentially confusing identical or similar marks. Daily, we will monitor all available official journals covering trademarks, looking for the publication of marks identical or similar to your trademark in the class or classes of goods or services that you specify.
Our watch notices of pending conflicting applications are delivered in a simple e-mail format with all necessary details, giving you the information you need to act quickly against marks that might be confusingly similar to yours. For word marks, we report newly published identical and phonetically identical marks in all classes, plus confusingly similar marks in one selected class. For device marks, we report newly published visually similar marks in a class or classes of your choice. Also, we provide you with English translations of Goods and Services for most registers at no additional cost.

If you wish to file an opposition or send a letter to the applicant of a conflicting mark, our attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.

Let us help you to continually protect your trademark. Should you have any questions about our Trademark Watch service, please contact us.

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