What is a Trade Mark?
A Trade Mark is a sign used or proposed to be used in relation to goods or services to differentiate these goods or services of one entity/ business from those of other entities in the course of trade.
Generally, a sign can be anything from a visible distinctive word or words, letter (s), numeral (number), drawing, picture, shape, color, logotype, label or a combination of one or all of these things.
Register Your Trademark
Instructions to register your trademark with us.
Complete the application using the Form 4 Instruction Guide
Pay the prescribed filing fee of PG K250.00. Payment can be made via direct deposit or bank cheque. (Click fees to get more information).
Lodge the application together with the receipt of payment at the IPOPNG Office.
The forms can only be lodged at the IPA Head office or mailed to the office.
Why are Trademarks important?
- Identify and distinguish between products or services of the same kind – convenience for choice. Trademarks make it easy for consumers to easily identify goods and services of a business or entity in the market place and distinguish or differentiate these goods or services from those of other similar goods or services of other businesses or entities.
- Products are easily recognized A trademark also enables businesses’ products and services to stand out in the market place and be recognized or identified by customers.
It also allows businesses to recognize their competitors in the market place.
- Establish image – reputation over time
NOTE: Not all trademarks can be registered. Under the PNG Trade Marks Act Ch.385, a trade mark is capable of registration only when it is capable of distinguishing goods or services of the owner from same or similar goods or services of other businesses/entities in the market place.
This is why you should do a Trademark Search of the Trade Mark Database/Registry before using a new trade mark or filing an application to register it. The search will help you assess whether your trademark, for which you intend to register, is not conflictingly similar to other trademarks that have already been filed or registered.
Your Trademark with IPO PNG
Trade mark protection can be obtained through registration, or in some jurisdiction, through use.
Even where trademarks are protected through use, it is always advisable to register the trade mark at the national trade mark office.
In Papua New Guinea, trade mark protection can be obtained through registration with the Intellectual Property office of Papua New Guinea.
Why Is It Important to Obtain Trademark Registration?
Registering a trade mark will provide stronger protection, particularly in the case of a conflict with an identical or confusingly similar trade mark. The legal or statutory title ( trademark rights – for which you have when you register your trademark) protects the registered proprietor/owner or registered user against unauthorized use of the trade mark.
Registration will also provide the owner, or registered user, with the legal title (trademark rights) to exclusive use, of the trade mark for the goods and services for which it is registered and where applicable, claim relief in the event of an infringement.
How Long Will It Take Before My Trademark is Registered?
Registering a trade mark is a lengthy process and may take a minimum of 9 months to complete and obtain a Certificate of Registration. However, it takes 3 weeks to 1 month to receive the examination report on an application. The Office will inform you from time to time and throughout this entire process of the progress of your application.
The lengthy process is due to the examination (assessment) of the application and compulsory periods of publication and opposition and registration. Click here to obtain the full process from filing to registration.
What happens after my trade mark has been approved for registration?
Upon approval for registration, the applicant is granted exclusive right and ownership of the trade mark with a Trade Mark Certificate (legal document). This signifies and recognizes that the applicant is the legitimate owner/registered proprietor of the trade mark.
Registration of the mark is valid for a 10 year period starting from the filing date (registration date) of the application. The owner can renew the mark after every 10 years.
The owner’s (of the trade mark) basic attribute with regard to protection of the trade mark is the power to exercise control over the use of the mark. Included in that exclusive right, the owner can license the mark to others to use the trade mark or assign the trade mark rights to others.